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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:

Reid Returns to Washington, Daughter Undergoing Surgery

Oct. 28, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., unexpectedly returned to Washington from his home state due to a family emergency.

McConnell: Obamacare Repeal Will Take 60 Votes (Updated)

Oct. 28, 2014

Updated 9:35 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans won’t be able to repeal Obamacare anytime soon.

McConnell Brings Back the Bloodhounds for Closing Week in Kentucky (Video)

Oct. 27, 2014

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is calling out the dogs — but this time there’s some fun involved.

Ed Gillespie Throws 'Redskins' Hail Mary

Oct. 27, 2014

Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie said in an ad airing during “Monday Night Football” that he would oppose legislation forcing the Washington Redskins to change the team name.

Pete Rose Hustles Into Kentucky Senate Race

Oct. 27, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a pass on making a call about one of America’s great sports controversies.

Vulnerable Senate Democrats Almost Always Voted With Obama

Oct. 27, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to avoid tough votes this year has backfired in one respect — it gave his vulnerable incumbents few opportunities to show off any independence from President Barack Obama.

Angus King Endorses Republican Senate Colleague

Oct. 24, 2014

Independent Maine Sen. Angus King, a member of the Democratic caucus, is backing a senior Senate Republican in his bid for re-election.

'Constructive Dialogue' Continues Over CIA Torture Report, White House Says

Oct. 22, 2014

Don’t expect the release of a Senate report on acts of torture committed by the CIA to become an uncomfortable election year October surprise.

Coburn's 'Wastebook' Targets Include Mountain Lions, Sheep, Beer (Video)

Oct. 21, 2014

Sen. Tom Coburn and his investigators have been busy in their most recent effort to unveil what they view as government waste and abuse.

Mikulski Sets Senate Ebola Hearing Two Days After Elections (Updated)

Oct. 20, 2014

Updated 2:15 p.m. | As the threat of the Ebola virus in the United States appears to be easing, Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski announced she would hold a hearing on the issue two days after voters are scheduled to go to the polls.

Barney Frank's Advice for Mitch McConnell

Oct. 15, 2014

Former Rep. Barney Frank has some words of wisdom for Sen. Mitch McConnell, should the Kentucky Republican claim the majority leader’s job in January.

McConnell Says CDC Should Get Money Needed to Battle Ebola

Oct. 15, 2014

If federal health agencies under President Barack Obama want more money to fight Ebola, they should get it, according to the Senate’s top Republican.

Portman: Ohio Constituent Faced 108 Minute Wait on Ebola Hotline (Updated)

Oct. 15, 2014

Updated 5:49 p.m. | Sen. Rob Portman says it took an Ohio constituent almost two hours to get through to the Ebola hotline at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Democratic Poll: Jeanne Shaheen Leads Scott Brown

Oct. 15, 2014

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen maintained a significant, single-digit lead in a new Democratic tracking poll.

Cornyn, Cruz Back Obamacare Lawsuit Over Origination Clause

Oct. 14, 2014

Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are backing another Obamacare lawsuit, hoping to upend the law.

No Attorney General Pick Until After Elections, White House Says

Oct. 14, 2014

Eric H. Holder Jr. better not pack up his Justice Department office just yet.

Twitter's Most Popular Congressional Staffer Gets New Title

Oct. 14, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz has a new communications director in his Senate shop, but it’s a familiar face. Amanda Carpenter, the most-followed congressional staffer on Twitter, is getting a title that aligns more with her recent duties.

Senate Odd Couple Seeks Common Ground on Climate Change

Oct. 14, 2014

POINT JUDITH, R.I. — A visit to the Ocean State’s eroding shoreline didn’t prompt West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III to change his mind about Environmental Protection Agency regulation of carbon emissions, but his host wasn’t expecting that sort of evolution.

Independents Could Control Power in Senate

Oct. 10, 2014

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The power in the Senate could increasingly flow not to Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell, but to a few independents who could hold the keys to the majority — and they know it.

Goodell Responds to Boxer, Says NFL Will Not Tolerate Domestic Violence

Oct. 9, 2014

The National Football League has responded to one of its foremost critics in the Senate, and this time she’s optimistic about what Commissioner Roger Goodell had to say.

McConnell: My Job Is to Protect Coal Jobs, Not Speculate on Global Warming (Audio)

Oct. 8, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would have none of it when the host of Kentucky Sports Radio pressed him Wednesday for his personal views on global warming.

Why Senate Attendance Attacks Are Usually Bogus (Video)

Oct. 8, 2014

The worst-kept secret on Capitol Hill? Senators miss committee hearings and meetings. All the time.

Republicans Eye Obamacare Showdown in Lame Duck

Oct. 8, 2014

Updated 5:22 p.m. | A group of Senate Republicans have their eye on another Obamacare showdown in the lame-duck session.

Democratic Senator: Restrict Africa Visas Due to Ebola

Oct. 7, 2014

A Senate Democrat is joining the chorus of calls for travel restrictions from African countries with Ebola outbreaks.

Cruz Says 60 Days Are Up for War Powers Against ISIS

Oct. 6, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz is pointing out that on Monday, the 60 days for military intervention under the War Powers Resolution should run out since the start of operations in Iraq against ISIS.

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