On Thursday, the ranking members of three influential Senate committees formally asked HHS' inspector general's office to examine whether Sebelius overstepped any legal or ethical bounds.
This past month, lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have questioned whether Sebelius violated federal law by soliciting funds from the private sector for Enroll America, a private group that works to inform Americans about enrolling in health insurance coverage.
“These activities call into question whether appropriations and ethics laws are being followed,” Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wrote in their letter to HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson. “The Antideficiency Act prohibits entering into contracts or obligations or accepting voluntary services for the United States in excess of available appropriations," they continued, adding that the Office of Government Ethics rule prohibits an official from fundraising of any person or group that the official regulates.