Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is facing some tough decisions in the coming weeks.
By and large, Boehner has dodged controversy since January, when his political stock took major hits as Congress debated the fiscal cliff and Sandy relief. But that respite will soon come to an end.
Among the testy issues facing Boehner: Immigration reform, a five-year farm bill, the constitutionality of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs, a possible government shutdown and increasing the federal debt limit.
Boehner has already committed to moving a five-year farm measure, which is set for a vote on the floor this week. But there are sure to be dozens of GOP defections.
Meanwhile, revelations of National Security Agency (NSA) data-mining programs that culled phone and Internet records of Americans have caused angst for some in the GOP, who fear overzealous government intrusion.
A handful of GOP lawmakers suggested moving legislation to address the possible Constitutional violations, and spoke out on the matter to their leaders at a closed-door conference meeting last week.