Sen. Lamar Alexander criticizes U.S. Health Secretary - WSMV Channel 4

Sen. Lamar Alexander criticizes U.S. Health Secretary

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Sen. Lamar Alexander Sen. Lamar Alexander
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander says that recent actions by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius may be illegal.

According to a report by the Washington Post, Sebelius has asked churches, charities and businesses for donations to help implement President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul.

On Saturday, Sen. Alexander said that congress should investigate the fundraising effort.

"Such private fundraising circumvents the constitutional requirement that only Congress may appropriate funds," Alexander said. 

Alexander also compared Sebelius' effort to the Iran-Contra incident.

In the 1980s, a Reagan administration official raised money and directed it toward Nicaraguan rebels after Congress refused to fund the effort.

To make his point, Alexander cited the report of the Congressional Iran-Contra Joint Select Committee, which says "Congress's exclusive control over the expenditure of funds cannot legally be evaded through the use of gifts or donations to the executive branch."

Obama defended his healthcare reform plan Friday during an event at the White House.

"With something as personal as health care, I realize there are people who are anxious, people who are nervous, making sure that we get this done right," Obama said.  "So I'm here to tell you, I am 110 percent committed to getting it done right."

The president's healthcare reform plan is expected to provide coverage for 38 million people by the end of the decade.

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