The Fed "engaged in a cover-up and deliberately hid concerns and pertinent details regarding the merger from other federal regulatory agencies," Representative Darrell Issa said in a statement released to Reuters.
Bernanke has in the past denied any inappropriate pressure on Bank of America. Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith on Wednesday referred to a letter Bernanke sent Representative Dennis Kucinich on April 30 and later testimony in which he offered an "unconditional assertion" that he did not ask Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis to withhold information regarding Merrill.
"The Federal Reserve acted with the highest integrity throughout its discussions with Bank of America," Bernanke wrote to the Ohio Democrat, who chairs a subcommittee on the Oversight panel.
The Democrat who heads the committee, Edolphus Towns of New York, has called Bernanke to testify on Thursday. "I am not going to prejudge these issues. We are not even close to finishing the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch investigation at this point," Towns said in a statement.