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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:

Obama Meets With 105-Year-Old Amelia Boynton Before SOTU

Jan. 20, 2015

Shortly before delivering the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama met briefly with 105 year-old civil rights figure Amelia Boynton in a holding room at the Capitol.

Rand Paul's Message: 'Do No Harm' In Foreign Affairs

Jan. 20, 2015

Possible 2016 contender Sen. Rand Paul says that the foreign policy potion of his own response to Tuesday’s State of the Union address will focus on an old adage from his medical career: “Do no harm.”

Harry Reid Back at Capitol, Will Miss State of the Union (Updated)

Jan. 20, 2015

Updated 3:04 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid returned to the Capitol Tuesday to lead the Democratic Caucus lunch, but he won’t be making it to the State of the Union address.

Obama Would End Death Tax Break for Wealthy to Fund Middle Class Tax Breaks, Programs

Jan. 17, 2015

President Barack Obama’s sweeping new tax proposal, detailed by senior administration officials Saturday, takes aim at the less-well-known death tax break.

Tony Blair Delivers 'Churchillian' Speech to Senate, House GOP

Jan. 16, 2015

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair drew three standing ovations when he addressed the joint House-Senate Republican retreat Thursday with a speech that one lawmaker likened to the oratory of Winston Churchill.

Obama Meets Senate Democrats in Baltimore After Lunch With Mikulski (Updated)

Jan. 15, 2015

Updated 3:40 p.m. | BALTIMORE — President Barack Obama may not be Jay Leno, but he has earned top billing at the annual issues conference for Senate Democrats at a hotel where he’s speaking Thursday.

Review Finds No Grounds for Discipline in Senate 'Spying' Matter

Jan. 14, 2015

A review commissioned by the CIA has determined that agency personnel should not face discipline for improperly accessing Senate computer files.

GOP Heads to Joint Retreat With Coordination, Realism on Agenda

Jan. 14, 2015

With hopes high for the new era of GOP majority control, House and Senate Republicans are headed off the Hill to plot a course for the party’s stymied legislative agenda.

Harry Reid Absent, but Still in Charge

Jan. 14, 2015

As Senate Democrats headed to Baltimore for their retreat, Minority Leader Harry Reid wasn’t with them — but he will be listening in.

Thune Floats Highway Bill as Reconciliation Candidate

Jan. 13, 2015

A top Senate Republican is floating the idea of using the budget reconciliation process to solve the highway bill funding puzzle.

The Tweeting Whip

Jan. 13, 2015

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

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.

Power Takes Obama's Iran Case to Kentucky

Jan. 12, 2015

America’s top diplomat at the United Nations took the Obama administration’s case against enhancing Iran sanctions to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home turf Monday — delivering remarks that sounded like a State of the Union prelude.

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.” He’s singing a different tune today.

Rand Paul Skipping Joint Republican Retreat

Jan. 10, 2015

At least one of the Senate’s 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.

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.

Keystone Debate to Test Waters of New Senate

Jan. 6, 2015

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

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 Reid’s 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 Year’s 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, it’s our turn to again thank you, the readers, for joining us throughout the year as we’ve followed the ebbs and flows of the Senate.

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