“My gut feeling is that they don’t add up to transformative issues on the scale of Social Security, the Securities Exchange Act, the Federal Housing Administration, the Civil Rights Act of ’64,” said David M. Kennedy , a historian at Stanford University and the author of “Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.”
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“They’re just not in that league,” he said.
Kennedy noted that Mr. Roosevelt had a large majority in Congress, while Biden’s party is barely in control, and deeply divided internally.
“The Democratic Party today is much more fractured with all kinds of divisions,” Kennedy said. “It’s proving very, very difficult to get this body of Democrats in both chambers to legislate consistently.”
“The package is much smaller, more modest and that was to be expected,” he added.
Mr. Biden’s accomplishments, even small in the eyes of some, may also prove to be his legislative crowning glory. After the final votes were counted, Mr. Biden made a video call to his longtime adviser, Steve Ricchetti, to congratulate a couple of dozen workers in the Roosevelt Room.
The president, who is vacationing in South Carolina, told them they had changed the world and made a difference for American families, according to an administration official.
But while the White House celebrated the legislation on Friday, the final deal was largely signed by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, and two holdout centrist Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. . In an emailed statement Friday, the office of Mr. Manchin took credit for the legislative victory, announcing the passage of the “Manchin Inflation Reduction Act.”