'Desperation And Fear' For Millions With Congress Deadlocked Over Pandemic Assistance

Federal unemployment money has been cut off for nearly two months. Congress hasn't worked out a deal to send more help, and the fight over a Supreme Court nominee could make that harder.
Jesus Gonzalez of Lexington, Ky., has been struggling to make ends meet after the $600 per week in extra federal unemployment benefits ran out. Source: Stacy Kranitz for NPR

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Jesus Gonzalez was about a year into starting a Cuban food catering and "pop-up" business in Lexington, Ky. It's like "a food truck, but without a truck," he says.

His steadiest gig was setting up tables with a spread of Cuban food at local breweries so people could eat while quaffing pints. But then all that shut down. And he says things aren't back to normal enough yet for the breweries to bring him back.

Gonzalez is a single dad with a 13-year-old daughter, and he says that in federal unemployment money that Congress approved in its last relief package really helped.

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