U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is taking aim at Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying her fundraising efforts and coordination with private entities to implement President Barack Obama’s new health care law “may be illegal.”

Alexander, of Tennessee, is the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate committee overseeing health policy.

In a Saturday statement, he said Sebelius’ actions should “cease immediately and should be fully investigated by Congress,” and he compared her activities to the Iran-Contra incident, in which a Reagan administration official raised money and sent it to private entities to support Nicaraguan rebels after Congress refused to fund the cause.

Alexander pointed to a Friday article in the Washington Post that said Sebelius “has gone, hat in hand, to health industry executives, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health care law.”

The article said many of the secretary’s calls were made to gain support for Enroll America, described as “the most prominent nonprofit working on the health care law’s implementation.”

The senator cited a report by the Iran-Contra Congressional 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.”