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Niels Lesniewski


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:

Credit Card Privacy Becomes Senate's Topic of the Week

Feb. 4, 2014

The recent deluge of reports about credit and debit card security breaches has senators looking to intervene.

Collins, Murkowski Most Likely Republicans to Back Obama

Feb. 4, 2014

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska held their reputations as leading GOP moderates in 2013.

Senate Thaw Depends on Reid, Republicans Say

Feb. 3, 2014

Senate Republicans say there could be a thaw this year in the chamberís frosty interparty relations if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid begins to loosen his iron grip on floor amendments.

Reid Second-Most Likely Dem to Vote Against Obama in 2013

Feb. 3, 2014

The Senate was so polarized in 2013 that the Democratic senator who was the second most likely to oppose President Barack Obama was . . . Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Hillary Clinton Backs Obama Against Iran Sanctions Push

Feb. 2, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton strongly backs the Obama administration view opposing new Iran sanctions for now in a letter released by Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin Sunday.

Angus King Dashes Hopes to QB for Dan Snyder

Jan. 31, 2014

Sen. Angus King is no Robert Griffin III, and he concedes that backing an effort to strip the NFL of its tax-exempt status will not help that.

U.S. Buys $11.5M Worth of Grape Juice After Push by Schumer, Gillibrand

Jan. 31, 2014

New Yorkís senators are lauding the Agriculture Departmentís move to buy millions of dollars worth of grape juice.

Rand Paul Faces Resistance to Allowing Guns at the Post Office

Jan. 31, 2014

A proposal by Sen. Rand Paul to allow guns in post offices is being met with skepticism by the chairman of the committee that oversees the Postal Service.

Mark Udall's Son Arrested for Heroin Possession, Plans to Seek Treatment

Jan. 30, 2014

The 26-year-old son of Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall was arrested Wednesday on charges including heroin possession, according to local news reports.

Senator's Son Stuck in Atlanta Snowstorm

Jan. 29, 2014

A snowstorm that shut down metropolitan Atlanta forced the youngest son of Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., to abandon his car and walk 10 miles in the cold.

Rockefeller Doesn't Trust Phone Companies With NSA's Metadata (Updated) (Video)

Jan. 29, 2014

The senator who might know the most about telecommunications companies doesnít want them serving as stewards of Americansí phone records.

Graham Says World 'Literally About to Blow Up'

Jan. 28, 2014

After praising President Barack Obama on immigration, South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted the foreign policy portion of the State of the Union speech.

Cruz: Iran Might Nuke New York or Los Angeles

Jan. 28, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz said after the State of the Union address that President Barack Obamaís Iran policy could lead to a nuclear weapon being detonated over a major U.S. city.

Obama 'Eager' to Work With Congress, but Ready to Act Alone

Jan. 28, 2014

Looking to jump-start his second term and give his party the advantage ahead of the November midterm elections, President Barack Obama pledged to do everything he can, with or without Congress, to reduce income inequality and bolster the middle class.

Baucus Greeted Warmly at Nomination Hearing

Jan. 28, 2014

Updated 3:51 p.m. | Sen. Max Baucus may have provided an awkward sound bite during his confirmation hearing Tuesday morning, but thereís no way it imperils the Montana Democratís sure confirmation to serve as ambassador to China.

Harry Reid Admits to Dozing Off During Previous SOTUs

Jan. 28, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confessed Tuesday to dozing off during past State of the Union addresses, though not on President Barack Obamaís watch.

McConnell Takes Credit for Hemp Provision in Farm Bill (Updated)

Jan. 28, 2014

Updated 12:36 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is taking credit for one provision in the five-year farm bill: industrial hemp, having led an effort to insert expanded language in the conference report.

Farm Bill Negotiators Reach Deal, Stabenow Says

Jan. 27, 2014

The top four leaders negotiating a new farm bill have reached agreement, Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said Monday.

Farm Bill Is Latest Breakthrough for Congress

Jan. 27, 2014

A Congress known for epic dysfunction and expected to be a foil for President Barack Obamaís State of the Union address is starting to creak to life ó this time with an agreement on a five-year farm bill announced Monday.

Farm Bill, Military Sexual Assault, Nominations on Reid's Agenda

Jan. 27, 2014

Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Monday his plans for the chamberís business for next month ó warning of the potential for another long slog on nominations.

Roy Blunt Offers SOTU Prebuttal in GOP Address

Jan. 25, 2014

House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., is presenting the official response to next weekís State of the Union address, but a top Senate Republican offered a prebuttal Saturday morning.

Loskarn Found in Basement After Suicide, Authorities Say (Updated) (Video)

Jan. 24, 2014

Updated 12:57 p.m. | Former Senate staffer Jesse Ryan Loskarn was found dead Thursday in Sykesville, Md., after he committed suicide, according to local authorities.

GOP Senators Press Obama on Keystone Pipeline, Again

Jan. 24, 2014

All 45 Senate Republicans are pressing President Barack Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline approval.

Will Court Case Give New Impetus for Background Check Overhaul? (Updated)

Jan. 24, 2014

Updated 5:15 p.m. | A troubling court filing this week will increase the pressure to overhaul the process for federal background checks.

33 Senators to Finance Leaders: Save the Charitable Deduction

Jan. 23, 2014

Fans of the federal income tax deduction for charitable contributions should not fear.

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