In the wake of bruising fights in GOP ranks over the "fiscal cliff" and aid for victims of super storm Sandy, Congress started a new session Thursday with Republicans more divided than ever.
While their leader, Speaker John Boehner, held his position. But because of the divisions, his ability to speak for his membership in the House appears greatly diminished.
That could not come at a worse time for Republicans as they prepare for their next attempt to get more spending cuts out of President Barack Obama. They will try to use the debt ceiling — and Obama's request to raise it - as leverage, as they did in 2011.
But if the final days of this Congress were indicative of things to come, Republicans will have a rough time effectively using their majority in the House against Obama, who even Republicans acknowledge is at the top of his game following the Democrat's re-election in November.