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 March 28, 2024

House committee investigating whether White House employees and Secret Service agents were forced to put up with Joe Biden's biting dogs

The House Education and the Workforce Committee is investigating whether staff was forced to tolerate biting behavior from President Joe Biden's dogs, The Center Square reported. The committee chairwoman, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), sent a letter Monday demanding answers from Julie Su, interim secretary of the Department of Labor.

Biden's dogs, Commander and Major, have been involved in several biting incidents. Foxx's letter marks a third inquiry into whether employees at the White House are being subjected to this danger in conflict with Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines.

Two previous letters have been ignored. "Recently, news reports say the number of known dog-bite incidents involving the President's dog Commander and Secret Service employees has risen to 24," Foxx said in her letter.

"In light of this new information, the Committee stresses that it is still concerned about the occupational safety and health program for all employees working at the White House and the Executive Office of the President," it added. Rumors of Secret Service agents being bit have circulated for years but we may now be getting the full picture.

Biting Criticism

The letter asked whether this has been allowed to persist because the dogs belong to the president. "As I stated in my prior letters, the White House should not embrace an attitude of 'rules for thee, but not for me' when it comes to workplace safety," Foxx wrote.

"The EOP's own Congressional Budget Submission for Fiscal Year 2024 estimates that the EOP is comprised of just over 2,000 full-time equivalent employees. It is surprising that DOL has no data to share from the EOP in response to the Committee's questions, given the number of EOP staff," the letter continued.

The employees impacted are largely members of the Secret Service who swarm the White House on any given day and unsettle the animals. One person was so badly bitten that the injury required six stitches.

Even with the Secret Service modifying the way they operate with the dogs around, there have been at least two dozen incidents. However, there's speculation that the number may be much higher.

"The Committee has an interest in ensuring that the White House is providing the same protections to its workforce that it demands of the private sector. Furthermore, the Committee has an interest in ensuring that DOL has accurate data on the EOP and the White House," Foxx asserted.

Blood on the Floor

These incidents are not just playful nips but bonafide dog bites from the German Shepherds. On one occasion, White House tours were held up for 20 minutes while the bite victim's blood was cleaned off of the floor.

A Freedom of Information Act request disclosed email discussions about the multiple biting incidents. One from Jan. 28, 2023, said, "2 incidents today and one yesterday," referring to the dog bites.

Another redacted email revealed that an official from the Presidential Protection Division emailed Senior White House Advisor Anthony Bernal to advise that Biden's dog "Commander bit one of the Navy Staff" employed at Camp David. The dog was removed from the White House in October, Fox News reported.

"The President and First Lady care deeply about the safety of those who work at the White House and those who protect them every day," First Lady Jill Biden's communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, said at the time. "They remain grateful for the patience and support of the U.S. Secret Service and all involved, as they continue to work through solutions."

Employees at the White House should not have to put up with attacks from the president's dogs to keep their jobs. Foxx has a right to know whether that was indeed the case, and so do the American people.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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