A House panel approved legislation Thursday that would undo much of the Dodd-Frank law enacted after the 2008 economic meltdown.
The bill cleared the Republican-led House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 34-26.
Republicans argue the law passed under President Barack Obama is slowing economic growth because of the cost of compliance and by curbing lending.
Democrats warn the GOP bill will create the same conditions that led to the financial crisis and pushed the economy to the brink of collapse.
The bill now goes to the full House for a vote, but supporters admit that the path will be much more difficult in the Senate, where Democratic support will be needed.
In a fast-moving session following two days of laborious debate, the panel flew through a series of votes on amendments, as the majority Republicans easily beat back Democrats' attempts to reshape and soften the legislation.
The action moved House Republicans closer to realizing their long-promised goal to undo financial regulatory laws enacted under Obama after the 2008 economic meltdown pushed the economy to the brink of collapse.
The bill would repeal about 40 provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Banks could qualify for much of the regulatory relief in the bill so long as they meet a strict basic requirement for building capital to cover unexpected big losses.
Republicans, led by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the GOP chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, have argued that community banks and credit unions are struggling to keep up with the regulatory burdens imposed by the law.