Local congressman denies he's "architect" of government shutdown

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A North Carolina Congressman is defending his actions, after being labled him the "architect" of the government shutdown.

Republican Congressman Mark Meadows who represents parts of Avery, Burke and Caldwell Counties, says he's not happy about the shutdown, and he's hearing from many angry constituents.

"I've been answering phone calls every single day in my office," Meadows said.

Meadows has made it no secret since coming into office earlier this year that he despises the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In August, he wrote a now famous letter to his colleagues, asking them to tie Obamacare to the bill that funds the government. His idea worked, and the United States is now in week two of the shutdown. WBTV asked Meadows if he regretted writing the letter.

"In terms of regretting writing the letter, it's really what the people that I represent wanted me to do. They elected me to do that," he said.

Meadows did admit to WBTV that writing the letter has rubbed some the wrong way.

"The consequences of it obviously are ones that I'm having to deal with now in terms of trying to make sure that we address the most pressing concerns of the government shutdown," he said.

Charlotte resident Paula Harvey is a small business consultant and says the shutdown is hurting her clientele everyday.

"A lot of my clients tell me they are very scared," she said.

Harvey says Meadows and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle have already let people down, but it's never too late to change.

"We've got to get people together and say we care about people of this country," she said.

Meadows says the reason he wrote the letter in August was to stop Obamacare.

"My objective was never to shut down the government. Obviously, it's trying to make sure that the people back home don't have the bad effects of Obamacare thrown in their laps, day in and day out," he said.

Meadows and other House members voted unanimously Wednesday to restore death benefits to military families affected by the shutdown.

Click here to view Meadows' letter to Republican leaders asking them to tie Obamacare to any bills funding the government.

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