Oct 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

White House safety concerns raised amid Biden dog biting incidents

Bidens with their dog Commander

Joe and Jill Biden with their dog Commander on Christmas 2021. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Education and Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx has raised concerns about workplace safety at the White House following a series of biting incidents involving the Biden family dog, Commander.

Why it matters: In a letter to President Biden and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su Wednesday, Foxx said that the White House was "failing to uphold" its responsibility to ensure workplace safety and health for its workers.

State of play: "I am concerned these incidents are an indicator of larger occupational safety and health failures at the White House," Foxx wrote.

  • Foxx requested that the administration turn over any employee workplace safety complaints filed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since Jan. 20, 2021.
  • She also requested the submission of all relevant forms and annual reports provided to the Secretary of Labor since that same date.
  • All documentation should be provided by Oct. 25.

What they're saying: Foxx told Politico in an interview that the point of the letter was to remind the White House that it is "not immune to the laws of the land."

The big picture: According to the letter, there have been 12 biting incidents involving Commander since 2021.

  • These have involved Secret Service agents and White House residence staff.
  • The White House confirmed earlier this month that Commander was not presently at the White House campus until "next steps" were determined.
  • The Bidens' other German Shepherd, Major, was eventually sent to the family's home in Delaware. He was reportedly so aggressive that residence officials warned the first lady's office the Bidens could face a lawsuit for injuries unless changes were made.

Go deeper: The White House cat has landed

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