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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:

The Tweeting Whip

Jan. 13, 2015

Send a tweet to @JohnCornyn, and it turns out youre actually reaching Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn.

Power Takes Obama's Iran Case to Kentucky

Jan. 12, 2015

Americas top diplomat at the United Nations took the Obama administrations case against enhancing Iran sanctions to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnells home turf Monday delivering remarks that sounded like a State of the Union prelude.

Senate Democrats Blast New House Rule on Social Security

Jan. 12, 2015

Operating in the minority, Democrats are beginning to show signs of being aggressive in fighting against potential changes to entitlement programs they have long championed.

Cornyn: 'We Learned the Hard Way'

Jan. 12, 2015

At the start of the last Congress, John Cornyn wrote an editorial titled Partial Government Shutdown May Be Needed to Restore Fiscal Sanity. Hes singing a different tune today.

Rand Paul Skipping Joint Republican Retreat

Jan. 10, 2015

At least one of the Senates 2016 contenders is bailing on the big House-Senate Republican conference gathering next week in Hershey, Pa.

Cornyn: Obamacare Repeal Vote Should Wait

Jan. 8, 2015

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said he hopes his GOP colleagues hold off on a vote to fully repeal Obamacare until after Republicans have shown they can govern.

Senators Cheer 'President Hatch'

Jan. 6, 2015

The start of the 114th Congress brings a pair of new roles for the senior-most Senate Republican: president pro tem and chairman of the Finance Committee.

Keystone Debate to Test Waters of New Senate

Jan. 6, 2015

Sen. Mitch McConnell has waited years for the moment hell take the reins of a dysfunctional chamber and try and show Republicans can govern.

A Battered Reid Stays on Message (Video)

Jan. 6, 2015

After missing the opening of the Senate, a battered Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in an online video message that Democrats would continue to fight for the middle class.

Durbin to Fill In for Injured Reid as Senate Convenes (Updated)

Jan. 6, 2015

Updated 11:33 a.m. | Incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is working from his D.C. residence after sustaining a concussion and other injuries in a workout accident last week.

First African-American Elected to Senate by Popular Vote Dies (Updated)

Jan. 3, 2015

Updated 7:13 p.m. | Trailblazing former Sen. Edward W. Brooke has died, the Boston Globe reported Saturday. He was 95. Funeral Services are scheduled for Saturday at the National Cathedral.

Reid Suffers Broken Ribs in Workout Accident (Updated)

Jan. 2, 2015

Updated 3:10 p.m. | Sen. Harry Reids office says the incoming minority leader has been released from a Las Vegas hospital after he sustained injuries in a workout accident at his home in Nevada on New Years Day.

Georgia Senators: Obama Won't Renominate Michael Boggs

Dec. 30, 2014

The controversial nomination of Michael P. Boggs to be a federal judge in Georgia is officially kaput.

What Scalise and Vitter Told Roll Call About David Duke in 1999

Dec. 29, 2014

Back in 1999, Roll Call interviewed white supremacist leader David Duke about the possibility he would seek the House seat vacated by the resignation of Republican Rep. Bob Livingston. As part of that report, reporter John Mercurio also talked to up-and-coming Louisiana politicians, current Sen. David Vitter and current House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

A Look Back at 2014 in the WGDB

Dec. 29, 2014

As we close the books on the 113th Congress, and the first full calendar year for this blog, its our turn to again thank you, the readers, for joining us throughout the year as weve followed the ebbs and flows of the Senate.

Graham Says Iran Sanctions Vote Will Come in January (Video)

Dec. 27, 2014

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Saturday that a vote on legislation providing for more stringent conditional sanctions against Iran would be among the first items of business for the 114th Congress.

Senator Calls on White House to Host Showing of Pulled Sony Film

Dec. 22, 2014

One senator wants President Barack Obama to invite members of Congress to the White House for a screening of The Interview.

Obama to Give Jan. 20 State of the Union (Updated)

Dec. 19, 2014

Updated 10:41 a.m. | President Barack Obama is accepting an invitation to deliver the 2015 State of the Union on Jan. 20, according to a White House official.

Martin Paone New Senate Liaison

Dec. 19, 2014

The White Houses new Senate liaison is an old familiar face around the chamber, and someone who really knows how the trains run.

How the Nuclear Option Changed the Judiciary

Dec. 19, 2014

For Sen. Harry Reid, going nuclear set the groundwork for his last great act of the 113th Congress.

Rand Paul on Cuba: Open Trade a Better Way to Fight Communism

Dec. 18, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul says President Barack Obama should expect to face thousands of riders on next years spending bills.

Sessions Yields to Enzi for Budget Gavel (Updated)

Dec. 17, 2014

Updated 7:23 p.m. | Sen. Michael B. Enzi will be the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee in the next Congress.

Lindsey Graham Balks at Funding U.S. Embassy in Cuba (Updated)

Dec. 17, 2014

Updated 3:10 p.m. | The debate over President Barack Obamas announced changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba will face a tough test at the Senate Appropriations Committee next year.

Democrats Close Out Majority With Wins on Nominations

Dec. 17, 2014

This will be the last vote of this Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced shortly before 9:30 p.m.

Durbin and Schumer Split Up

Dec. 16, 2014

The Senates longstanding D.C. roommates have gone their separate ways.

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