South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint unexpectedly quit Congress this winter, saying essentially that he could better advance the conservative cause as president of the Heritage Foundation think tank than in Congress.

Roughly eight months later, DeMint has no doubt pressed Congress, and House Republicans in particular, to take a conservative stance on such issues as the Farm Bill and President Obama’s health care law.

Heritage and DeMint won at least a partial victory on the recent Farm Bill vote, getting the House to split funding for food stamps from the rest of the bill but saying more reform is needed on the billions being spent on crop subsidies and other programs. And votes of sequestration, the debt limit and immigration are also on the near horizon.

But DeMint’s biggest challenges to date appears to lie in the weeks ahead when Congress returns in two weeks to vote on a temporary spending bill, which DeMint hopes will not include money for ObamaCare.