PODCAST: Food stamps under review; Fed easing stimulus?

The U.S. Federal Reserve Building in Washington, DC.

It's been a big week for talk about farming and food on Capitol Hill. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have passed separate versions of the farm bill, which is long overdue for renewal. The stickiest wicket has been around the size of the food stamp program, technically known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. At last count, about one in five Americans received food stamps, many of them elderly or working-poor families with children.

President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve John Williams made headlines yesterday when he speculated that the Fed may reduce its stimulus efforts in the coming months. Does this mean that the economy is moving in the right direction?

While the Senate debates comprehensive immigration reform, hordes of lobbyists are vying for attention. The Sunlight Foundation estimates as many as 3,000 lobbyists have worked on immigration issues in the past few years. There are the usual suspects -- restaurant owners, farmers, and construction groups -- and then there are the not-so-usual suspects.

Today, Texas lawmakers could give the state's craft breweries a Texas-sized boost. They'll consider a set of bills to loosen the rules for beer makers. Texas is no pioneer in the craft beer movement. In fact, it ranks 45th in the nation in breweries per capita. But that number doesn't tell the whole story.

 

 

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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