Sen. Tom Coburn didn't go as far as his cohort, Sen. Lamar Alexander, who accused Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of acting just like Oliver North during the Iran-Contra scandal -- but he was still willing to accuse her of breaking the law by soliciting private donations to help implement the Affordable Care Act after Congress cut the purse strings.
Coburn appeared on this Monday's Your World With Neil Cavuto to discuss Republicans demands that there be an investigation into whether Sebelius violated any appropriations and ethics rules, and while he was more than willing to imply that the HHS secretary might have broken the law, he was careful to parse his words while doing so:
COBURN: I have no doubt in my mind they have broken US code by augmenting their appropriations. I've had several large insurance executives tell me that they were asked to contribute to this. So we're just beginning on this, but if it's not illegal, it should be and it's for sure unethical and it is definitely a conflict of interest to extort money from the very people that you regulate.
As Think Progress pointed out a few weeks ago, Republicans didn't mind it so much when they did the exact same thing during the last administration: Senator Who Criticized Sebelius For Soliciting Donations Asked For Private Funds While Serving In Bush Administration: