Laid-Off Federal Worker Confronts Obama

'What would you do if you were me?' asks Karin Gallo
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2011 6:23 AM CDT
Updated May 13, 2011 7:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – A spokeswomen for the National Zoo who is seven months pregnant and will be laid off as of June 4 because of budget cuts confronted President Barack Obama at a town hall meeting yesterday. "I'm scared about what my future holds," Karin Gallo said. "I definitely need a job. And, I just wonder what would you do, if you were me?" Gallo said she took the job nearly three years ago because she assumed a federal post would be more stable than one in the private sector.

story continues below

"I think there’s nothing more important than—working on behalf of the American people," responded Obama, who was then interrupted by Gallo: "Well, I—I thought that—I’d be more important and secure." Obama spoke about the inclination of "some folks on the other side of the aisle" to "just cut and cut and cut." He continued, "When we have discussions about how to cut our debt and our deficit in an intelligent way, we have to make sure that we understand this is not just a matter of numbers, these are people. And I think Karin makes it really clear that there are real consequences when we make these decisions." The White House contacted Gallo later that afternoon, asking for more information and trying to help. But zoo officials say that with their $500,000 deficit, cutting seven employees was necessary, reports the Washington Post. (Read more National Zoo stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.