The House, voting 237 to 185, approved legislation that is intended to better align executive compensation with performance.
The bill's passage marks the first legislative movement on the Obama administration's financial regulatory reform package.
The House measure would give shareholders a nonbinding vote on compensation and golden parachutes and require compensation committees to be made up of independent directors.
The House added an amendment by House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank that would permit clawbacks of executive compensation that are approved by shareholders. The amendment also would bar regulators from requiring recovery of incentive-based pay if the compensation agreement was made before the bill's enactment.
The House defeated an amendment by Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., calling for nonbinding shareholder votes every three years instead of annually, as the Frank bill stipulates.
A similar compensation bill passed the House in 2007 but died in the Senate. The Senate is expected to roll any such provision into its comprehensive regulatory reform bill. Debate on the Senate bill is not expected to heat up until later this year.