Americans scraping by say they fear second stimulus won't be enough

For Renée DeCarlo, 49, an artist in San Francisco, the near-daily calls about her credit card payments make it impossible to forget about a mountain of debt that keeps piling higher. She has had to keep her studio closed to the public, and she sold her car to try to stay on top of expenses. Now, as the holidays approach, she is selling as much of her art as she can and using the money — coupled with unemployment benefits — to support her two teenage children.

“I need that money to live on,” she said. “I’ve been trading art for rent.”

Ms. DeCarlo is hoping that Congress makes an effort to forgive some of the debt that has piled up for her and others as the pandemic drags on.

“Getting those calls just makes you feel worse and sort of inadequate, as a person and as a society,” Ms. DeCarlo said. “I don’t want to be pulling the economy down. I’m trying to bring things up in what I do every day.”