Paul targets 'duplicative' FEMA payments
© Francis Rivera
Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulThe Memo: Trump faces enormous test with healthcare bill Three more GOP senators announce opposition to healthcare bill Rand Paul: Trump 'open to making bill better' MORE (R-Ky.) is taking aim at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for "duplicate" disaster relief payments. 
 
FEMA spent more than $50 million on disaster payments that were already covered by insurance companies, according to Paul's report, adding that "paying for something twice is one of those things that give you a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. When it comes to disaster recovery, Uncle Sam often unnecessarily pays twice." 
 
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The agency is the latest target of the Kentucky Republican's "Waste Report," which the 2016 presidential candidate uses to highlight what he believes are examples of wasteful government spending. 
 
The federal government spent at least $35.5 million over the past five years on disaster payments that were also paid for by insurance companies, according to Paul's report, which cites more than 30 inspector general reports from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 
 
For example, Paul points to more than $45,000 that FEMA spent on vehicle repairs for Seaside Heights, N.J., in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. DHS officials who reviewed the town's insurance policy questioned the use of federal funding in a 2015 report, suggesting the vehicles were already covered by insurance. 
 
Paul said that a Senate subcommittee also found an additional $17.7 million in duplicative payments for disaster recovery during the past five years. 
 
"In a disaster, it is understandable that quick action is needed and some things fall through the cracks. However, with longer-term projects ... it should not be that hard to figure out if something is covered by insurance or already paid for," the Kentucky Republican added in the report. 
 
Paul previously voted against a disaster recovery package in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. He also repeatedly criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is running against Paul for the party's presidential nomination, over the Sandy aid