BP CEO Tony Hayward disavowed a top Republican's characterization of a $20 billion relief fund the company will establish as a "slush fund."

Hayward rejected the controversial remarks Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) made Thursday morning, in which he criticized the account in escrow the oil company will create to pay out damages to victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

"I certainly didn't think it was a slush fund," Hayward said this afternoon during an appearance before a congressional committee.

Barton had said earlier today that he was "ashamed" of President Barack Obama and his administration's efforts to pressure BP into creating the relief fund. The Texas congressman apologized to Hayward for the way the company had been treated by the government.

"As we said yesterday, the fund is a signal of our commitment to do right to ensure ... everyone who's been impacted by this is kept whole," Hayward said. "That is what I've said from the beginning of this, and that's what we intend to do."