Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth was at the American Legion hall Thursday to field some friendly fire questions from his constituents in Payson.
Hayworth, who breezed in a bit late, greeted a full house at the hall after stopping by Rim Country Middle School to talk to students.
His first comment to the crowd: "Your home and property are safe -- Congress is not in session."
But the questions from the audience indicated that residents are nervous about health care and border tensions near Mexico. Residents with property near the Arizona-Mexico border asked how the Congressman planned to keep the area safe.
"We've allocated funds to add to our Border Patrol," he said. "They've only filled 300 of 1,200 slots. There is very sophisticated radar detection available, but a standing army on the border -- no."
On the topic of health care, the congressman promised that help is on the way in the form of a Medicare Reform Refinement Bill that dedicates $16 million to Medicare over the next five years to strengthen and improve the program.
Finally, Hayworth commended the people of Payson for supporting local schools through the Credit for Kids tax deferment program. He told the audience he wants to develop legislation that would allow parents and grandparents to set up tax-free accounts for education expenses.