Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:


Congress’ to-do list includes DACA, funding government

Congress is up against a long to-do list as members return to Capitol Hill this week from the holiday break.

Some of the must-tackle items: funding the government and deciding what to do about the status of so-called Dreamers.

At 7, the latest on where lawmakers stand on the issues.


Cornyn says DACA deal will be done by deadline

Texas’ Senior Senator says he thinks Congress will reach a DACA deal by the March deadline. Sen. John Cornyn told reporters in Austin Tuesday that he believes President Trump did the right thing by placing the issue back into the hands of Congress.

“I do believe we will get this done before the March Deadline…and I hope the President does not extend it because that puts the pressure on us and I think that Congress tends to respond when it’s put under pressure,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn was also asked about President Trump’s first year. He called it “pretty successful” but added the President’s tendency to unload on Twitter often “undermines his own effectiveness” and creates “uncertainty.”


Willett takes oath for 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett was sworn in to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday. It marks his official move to the federal judiciary.

Willett was nominated by President Trump last September. The conservative Texan is a prolific tweeter who was unofficially named the “Tweeter Laureate of Texas.”

Willett says he’s already toned down the tweeting as he prepares to join the panel in New Orleans.

“My title today has changed from justice to judge, but my task has not,” Willett said during a ceremony in Austin. “Judging according to the rule of law is a sacred trust.”

James Blacklock was also sworn in Tuesday. He’ll replace Willett on the Texas Supreme Court.


Julian Castro launches new PAC

A prominent Texas Democrat has launched a political action committee that aims to boost party gains nationally and statewide.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro publicly launched the Opportunity First PAC Tuesday.

Castro has said the PAC will support party efforts to take control of the US House and make gains in state legislatures for Democrats before the next round of redistricting in 2021.

And while Castro has repeatedly said he has not made a decision on a run for president, candidates considering it often get involved in such mid-term election campaigns.


On the Agenda

The Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg joins us at 7 to weigh in on Castro’s new PAC and the speculation about a 2020 presidential run.


Races to watch in 2018

As the new year begins, we take a look at the big Texas races to watch. From the race for governor to Congress and on down the ballot, political reporters Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report and Mike Ward with the Houston Chronicle weigh in.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

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