Both sides of Congress are expected this week to take up key votes on repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay troops from serving openly.

The votes are coming over the objections of the Pentagon, which had asked lawmakers to delay repeal until next year. A request President Barrack Obama has endorsed. The Defense Department says it would like to complete its study on how to integrate openly gay troops in the military before Congress repeals the law.

Proponents of repeal are pursuing different paths in each chamber: Senators will attempt to attach repeal language to next year's defense budget in the Senate Armed Services Committee, while House members will vote on a similar maneuver on the floor.

The diverging strategies are a result of opposing political ideologies between the two men who control the committees responsible for overseeing the Defense Department.

In the House, Missouri Representative Ike Skelton, a Democrat, blocked debate of repeal last week when the House Armed Services Committee he chairs began deliberations on next year's defense budget.

“You won't find any mention of the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'” Skelton said, then added that he and the committee's ranking Republican Buck McKeon had agreed to avoid the issue. “Mr. McKeon and I have spoken about this, we have agreed to support Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates' request for time to study the issue, and we do not support this issue being raised in this markup.”

Pennsylvania Representative Patrick Murphy, a vocal supporter of repeal, will instead offer his amendment after the committee hands over the measure to the full House. While Murphy has said he has the votes needed to attach his amendment, an official co-sponsor count puts the bill 25 votes short.

In the Senate, 15 votes are needed to attach repeal language in the Armed Services Committee chaired by Senator Carl Levin. The Michigan Democrat is among the Senate's most ardent supporters of repeal. But the committees' ranking Republican, Arizona Senator John McCain, has become the face of opposition to repeal in the Senate.

Pressure from the Pentagon and the White House to kick repeal into next year is likely to weigh heavily on committee members who might prefer to avoid the issue during what is expected to be a contentious election cycle.

“This is our 'all hands on deck' moment,” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group that lobbies for repeal of the military gay ban, said.

“For repeal to succeed, it is critical that all proponents for full repeal weigh in now, including the White House. We are only a few days away from this historic vote.”

Conservatives opposed to repeal say the policy is working and should not be repealed at a time when the country is facing two wars.