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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:

Lindsey Graham Questions New Hampshire Man's Virility

Aug. 31, 2015

Sen. Lindsey Graham is fond of saying federal entitlement programs will go broke if there’s not an influx of new workers, but he seldom gets a volunteer when he suggests there should be a new baby boom.

Boehner's Latest Fight With Obama? Renaming Mount McKinley

Aug. 30, 2015

For many in the state of Alaska, Sunday was a day for rejoicing. But for Ohioans such as Speaker John A. Boehner, that was not the case.

Inviting Fight With China, Rubio Says Disputed Islands Belong to Japan

Aug. 28, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio said bluntly Friday the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea belong to Japan.

Tom Carper Brings Count of Iran Deal Supporters to 30

Aug. 28, 2015

And then there were 30.

The Fastest Candidate — Running for the White House

Aug. 28, 2015

Does anyone care to challenge Marco Rubio to a 40-yard dash?

Senator Criticizes 'Systemic Issues' in State Dept. Email Management

Aug. 27, 2015

One of the State Department’s congressional overseers is expressing fresh concerns about federal data security after this week’s inspector general report about the use of private email at the embassy in Japan.

Obama to Highlight Post-Katrina Progress in New Orleans

Aug. 27, 2015

“What started out as a natural disaster became a manmade one — a failure of government to look out for its own citizens.”

Ted Cruz Invites Donald Trump to Anti-Iran Deal Rally on Capitol Grounds (Updated)

Aug. 27, 2015

Updated 11:15 p.m. | Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has invited fellow presidential candidate Donald Trump to participate in a rally outside the Capitol against the international nuclear agreement with Iran.

Rubio: GOP Needs 60 Votes to Repeal Obamacare

Aug. 26, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio sounds rather bearish on repealing Obamacare anytime soon, even if he or another Republican becomes president.

Obama Won't Be Pushing Second Amendment Rollback After Latest Shooting

Aug. 26, 2015

After Wednesday’s shooting during a local television news live shot in Virginia, the White House said President Barack Obama is continuing to call for new gun safety laws.

As Prospects of Derailing Iran Deal Dim, Corker Eyes Next Step

Aug. 26, 2015

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker is home in Tennessee, but he said Wednesday he’s been on the phone a lot about Iran — particularly with moderate Democrats.

Obama, Reid and 'the Crazies'

Aug. 25, 2015

We might never know exactly who President Barack Obama had on his mind when he called people “crazies” Monday night.

Patty Murray Joins in Supporting the Iran Deal

Aug. 25, 2015

The one member of the Senate Democratic leadership who had yet to announce a position on the Iran deal is supporting it.

Why Harry Reid Needed to Announce Iran Deal Support When He Did

Aug. 24, 2015

When Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Sunday he would support the international nuclear agreement with Iran and work to ensure it survives a GOP-led disapproval effort, the Nevada Democrat avoided what could have been an awkward Monday.

Reid Dismisses 'Longshot' Prospects for Iran Deal Filibuster

Aug. 24, 2015

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told reporters gathered in Las Vegas that filibustering a bill to disapprove of the nuclear deal with Iran would be a “longshot.”

'Moneyball' for the Power Grid: Reid Says Metrics Key

Aug. 24, 2015

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid kicked off his annual clean energy summit Monday in Las Vegas by comparing utility companies that undervalue renewable power to an ill-managed baseball team.

Obamacare Repeal Effort Could Wait Until Next Year

Aug. 21, 2015

The No. 3 Senate Republican hinted there may be no effort to use fast-track budget procedures to get an Obamacare repeal to the president’s desk this year.

What Ted Cruz Thinks About Manned Spaceflight

Aug. 20, 2015

When Sen. Ted Cruz took questions at a campaign town hall in Huntsville, Ala., on his bus tour of SEC country last week, a boy scout from the area raised his hand. But the Texas Republican called for the last question before his staff could get the presidential candidate’s attention.

Louis Stokes, First Black Appropriator, Dies at 90

Aug. 19, 2015

The Cleveland-area congressman who was chairman of the House select committee that investigated the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., passed away late Tuesday at the age of 90.

Ahead of Obamacare Repeal Rollout, Walker Stocks Up On Advisers Familiar With Capitol Hill

Aug. 18, 2015

As Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker sets out to unveil his proposal to replace Obamacare, he’s been staffing up from Capitol Hill.

Rhode Island Senators Join Ranks of Iran Deal Supporters

Aug. 18, 2015

Hours after a Senate Democrat announced his opposition to the Iran deal, two more have come out in support.

Winds Blowing Against Menendez as He Blasts Iran Deal

Aug. 18, 2015

Sen. Robert Menendez surprised no one Tuesday when he became the second Democratic senator to oppose the Iran deal, but the momentum is clearly in favor of the deal among Democrats.

McConnell Praises Efforts to Fight Heroin Epidemic

Aug. 17, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is starting the week with praise for the White House’s drug czar.

The Return to Cuba: Leahy's Camera Captures History

Aug. 15, 2015

When Sen. Patrick J. Leahy attends a major event, he always brings along his camera.

Senators: Metro Safety Important Enough to Micro-Manage

Aug. 14, 2015

The four senators from the states that surround Washington, D.C., say Metro’s board of directors needs to move more quickly to protect riders from the system’s aging rail infrastructure.

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