WASHINGTON — House Republicans took a major step toward their long-promised goal of unwinding the stricter financial rules created after the 2008 crisis, pushing forward sweeping legislation that would undo much of President Barack Obama's landmark banking law.

A House panel on Thursday approved Republican-written legislation that would gut much of the Dodd-Frank law enacted by Democrats and signed by Obama in the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession. The party-line vote in the Republican-led House Financial Services Committee was 34-26.

Republicans argued that the Dodd-Frank law is slowing economic growth because of the cost of compliance and by curbing lending.

Democrats warned the GOP bill will create the same conditions that led to the financial crisis and pushed the economy to the brink of collapse.

Getting the new bill to President Trump's desk could be a hard road. It now goes to the GOP-dominated House for a vote, but supporters admit that the path will be much more difficult in the Senate, where Democratic support will be needed.

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 argued that big banks have done well under Dodd-Frank, but that community banks and credit unions are struggling to keep up with the regulatory burdens imposed by the law.

While the measure is expected to pass the full House, in the Senate, it will need 60 votes to become reality, meaning the GOP will need several Democrats to join their effort. Leaders of the Senate panel with jurisdiction over a Dodd-Frank overhaul have said they would like to work together to find areas of common agreement to enhance economic growth.

The Republican bill also goes after an agency that enforces consumer protection laws and scrutinizes the practices of virtually any business selling financial products and services. That ranges from credit card companies to mortgage servicers to auto lenders. The bill removes some of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's powers and replaces its guaranteed funding from the Federal Reserve with whatever Congress determines would be the appropriate amount, a move Democrats said would gut the agency.

The advocacy group Consumers Union criticized the legislation, saying the consumer agency has worked to win almost $12 billion in refunds and relief for an estimated 29 million Americans.

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