Escalating the war of words over the Community Reinvestment Act, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm said the law encourages "bribery" and "extortion."

"No bank should be allowed to pay money in order to gain support in a CRA evaluation and no organization should be allowed to ask for money as a condition for silence," the Texas Republican said in a Feb. 1 letter to President Clinton released Tuesday.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.