The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission said Monday that Goldman wouldn't hand over the documents voluntarily. It said it only issues subpoenas after giving companies time to cooperate.
It is not clear what documents the commission was seeking. The bank already has provided reams of documents to the FCIC.
"We have been and continue to be committed to providing the FCIC with the information they have requested," Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael Duvally said. He declined to comment further.
Goldman, a Wall Street powerhouse, profited from its bets against the housing market before the crisis. It continued to make huge profits after accepting bailout money and other government subsidies.
The bank's success and lavish executive pay have drawn attention at a time when the nation is dealing with near-double-digit unemployment.
The firm's mortgage speculation also has drawn civil fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and a criminal probe by the Justice Department.
Goldman is one of eight banks being investigated by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on charges that they misled credit rating agencies.
Congress created the bipartisan panel to investigate the credit crisis that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. It already subpoenaed credit rating agency Moody's and billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
The FCIC will issue a final report on its findings by Dec. 15.