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Niels Lesniewski

Bio:

Niels Lesniewski covers the Senate for Roll Call. He joined what is now CQ Roll Call in September 2007, hired by Roll Call for the GalleryWatch legislative tracking service that was integrated into CQ in 2009. He is known for his expertise on the peculiarities of Senate procedure.

Niels began covering the Senate for CQ in January 2010, taking the title of CQ SenateWatch editor in the summer of 2011. He has contributed to coverage of all the biggest policy stories on Capitol Hill in recent years, including the response to the 2008 financial collapse, the health care overhaul and several budget standoffs.

A Connecticut native, Niels graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a dual degree in theatre and government. Before joining CQ Roll Call, he worked for theater productions in D.C. and New England. While in college, he interned for ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Outside of work, Niels is an avid sports fan. He started attending Nationals games back when the team was among the worst in the National League and still playing at RFK Stadium.

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Stories by Niels Lesniewski:

In Wake of Ferguson, New Focus on Civil Rights, Militarized Cops

Aug. 14, 2014

The nation’s eyes were riveted on the searing images from Ferguson, Mo., Thursday, but the violent protests in that small St. Louis suburb have also unexpectedly pushed two policy debates closer to the front burner in Washington: Civil rights and the militarization of police.

Rand Paul Wants Obama to Seek Approval for Extended Iraq Effort (Video)

Aug. 13, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul has joined the calls for President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval for an extended military campaign to fight Islamic State forces in Iraq.

Back Home, Top Senate Democrats Upbeat About Holding Majority

Aug. 13, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., — Back in their home states for the August recess, the Senate’s two top Democrats said Wednesday they are optimistic about the prospects of maintaining control of the chamber in November.

Tim Kaine: Obama Needs Congress to OK Iraq Air Strikes

Aug. 12, 2014

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine wants President Barack Obama to seek new approval from Congress for the current bombing campaign in Iraq.

Why Did DEA Pay an Amtrak Employee for Passenger Records?

Aug. 12, 2014

A bizarre revelation contained in a routine Amtrak inspector general report has caught the attention of the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Chuck Schumer's FitBit Privacy Warning (Video)

Aug. 11, 2014

Sen. Charles E. Schumer’s newest privacy concern is about the popular FitBit.

Mikulski Plots One More Push at Omnibus

Aug. 11, 2014

BALTIMORE, Md. — When the Senate returns next month, the chamber’s top appropriator is planning one more push at an omnibus, even if it’s a serious long shot.

Feinstein Warns of Risk of ISIL Attack on America, Says Must Be Confronted

Aug. 8, 2014

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein warned Friday of the risk that the insurgent group ISIL could be preparing fighters to attack American and European targets.

Senators Watching as Kerry Visits Myanmar

Aug. 8, 2014

When Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Myanmar Saturday to meet with government officials there along with ASEAN Regional Forum and other meetings, the Senate will be watching.

Congressional Leaders Back Iraq Airstrikes; Hawks Push for Broader War on ISIL

Aug. 8, 2014

Updated 11:22 a.m. | Congressional leaders are backing President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize air strikes in Iraq as the first bombs began falling, although hawks are pushing for a far broader military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also knowns as ISIS.

#tbt: Intern Duties

Aug. 7, 2014

Hurricane Iselle Could Cause Havoc for Hawaii Primary (Video)

Aug. 7, 2014

The Hawaii primary is in a state of uncertainty, as Hurricane Iselle and a second storm barrel toward the islands and get-out-the-vote pushes are intermixed with information on where to find emergency assistance.

Cuts to National Guard Motorsports Sponsorships Draw Mixed Reviews

Aug. 7, 2014

Lawmakers are predictably split on the National Guard’s announcement it will be slashing motor sports sponsorships — just days after a car sporting the Guard’s livery won a major NASCAR race.

Ron Johnson Appealing Obamacare Ruling, Will 'Exhaust Every Legal Recourse'

Aug. 5, 2014

Sen. Ron Johnson isn’t giving up his legal fight to toss health benefits for members of Congress and their staff participating in Obamacare.

Durbin, Reed, Warren Seek Executive Action to Combat 'Inversion'

Aug. 5, 2014

A trio of liberal Senate Democrats want President Barack Obama to make use of his “pen and phone” to cut down on corporate “inversions.”

Feinstein Withholds Report on CIA Torture, Writes Letter to Obama

Aug. 5, 2014

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein isn’t happy with the redactions being demanded by the administration to her committee’s report on torture by the CIA, and she wants the president to intervene.

Leahy: Reported USAID HIV Ruse in Cuba 'Worse Than Irresponsible'

Aug. 4, 2014

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s top appropriator is not amused with a new Associated Press report about the agency’s activities in Cuba.

Congress Takes August Recess, Avoids Recess Appointments

Aug. 4, 2014

Updated: 3 p.m. | Congress will officially be on recess starting Tuesday — but President Barack Obama won’t use the opportunity to make recess appointments.

McCain: 'What Did the Director of the CIA Know and When Did He Know It?'

Aug. 1, 2014

Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have joined the chorus expressing outrage at the bombshell confirmation that the CIA was snooping on the Senate.

Feinstein Reviewing Redactions in Senate Torture Report

Aug. 1, 2014

Updated 10:26 p.m. | The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report into torture by the CIA is in the panel’s hands but is still under review, Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said late Friday.

Kay Hagan Has Emergency Eye Surgery

Aug. 1, 2014

Sen. Kay Hagan was undergoing emergency eye surgery this morning in North Carolina.

Dr. No Plans One-Man Blockade on Bills That Add to Deficit

July 31, 2014

Dr. No is at again, despite the jet fumes in the air.

Republicans Block Many Ambassador Nominations in 'Nuclear Option' Fallout (Updated)

July 31, 2014

Updated 11:07 p.m. | The Senate may not be confirming nominees to posts in a slew of countries before departing for the August recess, but after some procedural maneuvering, the U.S. will be getting a top diplomat in Russia.

Reid: CIA Snooping on the Senate 'Appalling'

July 31, 2014

Majority Leader Harry Reid called the CIA’s snooping on computers used by Intelligence Committee staff “appalling and deeply threatening to our system of checks and balances” and is demanding changes.

Reid Warns of Weekend Work in September

July 31, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is warning of a whirlwind September schedule that will feature a slew of do-over votes on Democratic campaign priorities.

"I want everyone to know what's going to happen when we come back. Following the August recess, we're going to convene on Sept. 8, and we're going to be here for one week, two weeks and two days. Sept. 23 is our target date to adjourn until after the election," the Nevada Democrat said when opening the Senate floor Thursday for the last expected session day before the August break.

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