Given how Republicans soundly clinched a majority win in both the House and Senate in November, it seems a bit counterintuitive that House Speaker John Boehner has to worry about detractors from within his own party now that Congress is back in session.

But proving that the American political game (emphasis on game) is always about flux, and that those on top can’t afford even to bask for a moment in the glow of victory, Boehner is already dealing with warring GOP factions, some of whom are aiming for an ouster (via The Washington Post):

Still, the flurry of opposition Monday came at an unfortunate time for Boehner. Rather than again managing the internal fights that have plagued the GOP since the 2010 tea party wave election, leaders had hoped to turn their attention to policy, striking a new tone ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Instead, they were dealing with a backlash against legislation they spearheaded in the previous Congress.

In statements announcing their opposition to Boehner, most of the speaker’s critics took issue with the $1.1 trillion spending bill that passed the House in December with the support of most Republicans and some Democrats, arguing it did not do enough to curb President Obama’s use of executive authority.

“I was really disappointed” by the spending bill, said Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.). “We could have addressed immigration and we did not. We did provide the president with the funds he wanted. .?.?. I like Speaker Boehner. He’s a good man. But the problems demand new leadership.”

Three of the group of about 11 Republicans willing to openly challenge the House speaker’s authority at this stage include Reps. Thomas Massie, Ted Yoho and Louie Gohmert, and more may be willing to come forward if their goal seems to gather support, the Post reported Tuesday. That said, Boehner is probably not in serious danger of losing his post at this point — but he still has to watch his back.

Update: Boehner has prevailed over his rivals as of early Tuesday afternoon.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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