Vice President Biden: Winter Storms a Challenge for Strained Local Governments

Biden says despite snow, it's business as usual at the White House this week

ByABC News via logo
February 11, 2010, 1:35 PM

Feb. 11, 2010 — -- The massive storms that hit the East Coast this winter are going to strain the budgets of state and local governments, which were already facing economic challenges, Vice President Biden said.

"It's the simple mechanics of getting the plows out and putting salt on the road. It's an expensive proposition," Biden said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America's" Juju Chang. "And most of these municipalities from here to Boston are struggling whether they are small or large so it does have an effect."

Watch more from Juju Chang's interview with VP Biden and his wife tomorrow - and find out about their Valentine's Day traditions - on GOOD MORNING AMERICA

While the vice president said he is concerned about snowstorms' economic effects, he credited the Obama Administration's stimulus act last year for providing relief to state and local governments to get them out of "real trouble."

"But for the Recovery Act a lot of these states and counties and cities would have been in real trouble," Biden said. "And now their budget for 2011 is going to be a lot tougher."

The federal government has closed for a record four straight days and Washington has essentially come to a standstill, but Biden said it has been business as usual at the snowy White House.

"We were able to have meetings the last three days. We had important meetings in the White House," he said. "Everybody is there. Situation room is working. We have all the usual things."

The vice president said that the federal government shutdown has not slowed momentum on the administration's agenda, noting that on Tuesday he and the president were able to sit down with congressional leaders before the blizzard hit.

But Biden noted that the snow "has affected the House and Senate," which have been out of session this week due to weather and travel challenges for members.

Biden said that his granddaughters took advantage of the 70 acres at the Naval Observatory, where the vice president lives, and its big hills to get in some sledding during the last major snowstorm in December.