Joe Manchin's daughter screwed everyone who uses an EpiPen. Neera Tanden criticized her. Today, Manchin got his revenge.
Joe Manchin's daughter raised EpiPen prices over 400%. Neera Tanden criticized her. So Manchin killed Tanden’s nomination to be OMB Director. You do the math.
US Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-EpiPen) daughter, Heather Bresch, is the Big Pharma executive who raised EpiPen prices over 400%. Neera Tanden criticized her. So Manchin just killed Tanden’s nomination to be OMB Director. (Tanden withdrew her nomination today.) It’s not terribly difficult to do the math on this one.
Neera Tanden is the longtime head of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress. While some on the left accuse Tanden of being too centrist, she’s actually quite the liberal firebrand. We interviewed her twice on our podcast, UnPresidented, and both times Tanden was to the left of many of our own progressive listeners, who were pleasantly surprised with her tenacity and smarts.
This was our first interview with Neera Tanden:
And this was our second interview with Neera Tanden:
Neera is no wallflower. She’s also a woman, and person of color (being of Indian descent). And in today’s Republican party, that’s a recipe for disaster. Neera, along with many of the other people of color nominated by Joe Biden, faced a tough battle for confirmation. But what was particularly galling was their justification for opposing Tanden: Her tweets were too mean.
This, after four years (five+ if you count the campaign) of Donald Trump’s racist, sexist, and treasonous Tweets and Facebook posts, that were so bad they got him banned from both social media platforms after he incited a violent insurrection that ended in seven deaths.
For the record: Tanden’s tweets never got anybody killed, though they often slayed.
But that didn’t stop Joe Manchin from leading the charge against Tanden’s nomination to run the Office of Management and Budget. For the longest time, it just didn’t make sense that Manchin cared so much about Tanden’s alleged “mean tweets.” Then, I saw one particular tweet, and it all made sense.
Back in August of 2016, Tanden tweeted about a New York Times article citing the nearly $19 million salary of Mylan pharmaceuticals CEO Heather Bresch, who is responsible for quintupling the price of the life-saving “EpiPen” that asthmatics and people with allergies us to save their lives. (Bresch proudly defended the 400% EpiPen price increase, and took personal responsibility for it: “We absolutely raised the price and take full responsibility for that.”)
What Tanden’s tweet didn’t say: Heather Bresch is Joe Manchin’s daughter. Now you know the rest of the story.
Neera Tanden’s sin — in addition to being an intelligent woman of color — is that she spoke truth to power, and power struck back. Joe Manchin didn’t like that Tanden rightfully called out his greedy daughter, so Manchin torpedoed Tanden’s career, while at the same time hitting Joe Biden with collateral damage.
It takes a certain kind of chutzpah for a Democratic Senator to attack the nominee of his own party’s president, only six weeks in office, and following a devastating four years of ineptitude, malice, and criminality.
But hey, that $19 million salary isn’t going to pay itself.