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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:

RNC Petition Backs Ron Johnson's Member/Staffer Health Care Lawsuit

April 28, 2014

Sen. Ron Johnson’s lawsuit challenging the legality of federal contributions to the health care plans of members of Congress and congressional staffers has a new ally: the Republican National Committee.

Beer Taxes, Regs a Bipartisan Issue

April 27, 2014

Fighting beer regulations and taxes has brought members of both parties together.

FDA E-Cig Regulations Disappoint Democrats, Cheer Industry

April 24, 2014

Several Democratic lawmakers who have pushed for the FDA to draft e-cig regulations to treat the electronic cigarettes like their traditional counterparts aren’t happy.

Paul, Gillibrand Represent the Senate on Time's '100 Most Influential'

April 24, 2014

Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., aren’t very much alike, but in Time magazine’s view, they’re among the 100 most influential people.

Durbin Tweets Happy Birthday to Wrigley Field — Doesn't Mention the Lights

April 23, 2014

The celebration of Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday wouldn’t be complete without hearing from the senior senator from Illinois.

Heller Calls Bundy Ranch Supporters 'Patriots;' Reid Sticks With 'Domestic Terrorists' (Video)

April 18, 2014

Nevada’s senators sparred Friday on live TV in Las Vegas over the standoff between the federal government and rancher Cliven Bundy.

Good Friday News Dump Riles Keystone Supporters on the Hill

April 18, 2014

Reaction to news that the State Department would take more time to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project was swift and predictable.

Harry Reid: Bundy Ranch Supporters Are 'Domestic Terrorists' (Video)

April 17, 2014

In one corner, the Senate majority leader. In the other corner, a Nevada rancher disputing the government’s authority to collect grazing fees and restrict access to land for his cattle.

From the Archives: McConnell's Role in Packwood Probe

April 17, 2014

Former Sen. Bob Packwood’s sexual harassment scandal has resurfaced as a campaign issue — nearly two decades later.

Obama Boasts Health Care Enrollment Hits 8 Million, Talks Immigration, Highways (Updated)

April 17, 2014

Updated 4:38 p.m. | President Barack Obama said Thursday that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance coverage in the marketplaces set up through the Affordable Care Act, and whacked Republicans for “endless, fruitless repeal efforts.”

Cornyn Presses Holder on Gun Tracking

April 16, 2014

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn is asking Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. about the possibility of the Obama administration trying to track gun owners. The Texas Republican’s letter puts the Justice Department on the spot following Holder’s testimony about new gun safety devices at an April 4 House subcommittee hearing about the department’s fiscal 2015 budget.

Filibuster Unconstitutional? D.C. Circuit Denies Appeal, Cites 'Speech or Debate' Flaw

April 15, 2014

Advocates asking the judiciary to declare the filibuster unconstitutional were dealt a major setback Tuesday by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Unemployment Extension Petition Gets Manchin's Push

April 15, 2014

Keeping the unemployment insurance extension issue alive, Sen. Joe Manchin III is asking supporters to sign on to a petition urging the House to act. The West Virginia Democrat doesn’t agree with his party on everything, but an email pitch sent Tuesday morning demonstrates considerable Democratic unity on reviving extended unemployment insurance benefits.

Washington Responds to Passing of Nuala Pell, Widow of Former Rhode Island Senator

April 14, 2014

Nuala Pell, widow of former Rhode Island Sen. Claiborne Pell, passed away Sunday morning in Newport at age 89.

'Nuclear' Nominations Aftermath Slows Senate to Crawl

April 14, 2014

Just how many of President Barack Obama’s nominees will get confirmed this year? If last week is any indication, the answer may depend on whether Democrats once again employ the “nuclear” option to effectively change the Senate’s rules.

Ban on E-Cig Sales, Marketing to Children Pushed by Durbin, Waxman

April 14, 2014

E-cigarette sales and marketing to children will soon be banned and flavorings could be restricted by the federal government if two senior congressional Democrats get their way.

Senate Democrats to Holder: Intervene in GM Recall

April 11, 2014

A group of five Democratic senators want the Justice Department to take action to keep General Motors from denying responsibility for faulty ignition switches.

Tax 'Extenders' and Energy Efficiency Make May Agenda, Reid Says

April 11, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring up a catchall tax “extenders” package to the floor next work period, along with a long-delayed energy efficiency bill.

Senate Switcheroo Crimps Travel Plans

April 11, 2014

Thursday night’s unplanned — but predictable — shift in the Senate’s vote schedule meddled with plans of senators who actually planned to show up for work Friday.

Reid: Recess Won't Start Until After Judicial Nomination Vote

April 10, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in no mood to delay a scheduled confirmation vote for a Ninth Circuit judicial nominee — warning he’ll keep the Senate in session Friday if Republicans don’t consent to an earlier vote.

'Nuclear' Fallout Slows Senate, Briefly Delays Recess (Updated)

April 10, 2014

Updated 8:30 p.m. | Fallout from last year’s “nuclear” rules change trumped the proverbial smell of jet fumes in the Senate this week, but only for a while.

Joe Manchin: Koch Brothers 'Not Breaking the Law'

April 10, 2014

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W. Va., sounds like no fan of the top Senate Democrat’s attacks on the Koch brothers.

Graham to Comcast Exec: 'Anybody Represent DIRECTV?'

April 9, 2014

When officials from Comcast and Time Warner Cable appeared at the Senate Judiciary Committee to push the case for their proposed $45 billion merger, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked questions that any ordinary American consumer might.

The South Carolina Republican had service issues, with both cable and DirecTV.

Before he switched to the satellite service, Graham said at the hearing that his cable TV "went out right in the fourth quarter of a ballgame."

'Cuban Twitter' Dominates USAID Hearing (Video)

April 8, 2014

The senior senator charged with overseeing the U.S. Agency for International Development budget unleashed scathing criticism on the department’s leader Tuesday over a “Cuban Twitter” program.

Leahy Defends Senators' Role in Vetting Judges in Their States

April 8, 2014

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy has again come to the defense of allowing home-state senators to block the nominations of federal judges in their states, even when the senators are Republicans.

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