Michigan Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is considering stripping repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” from the military's annual budget bill, CNN reported.

Levin told reporters Tuesday that a vote on repeal of the 1993 law that bans gay and bisexual service members from serving openly could be considered separately from the defense bill.

A standalone repeal measure is likely to face greater opposition from lawmakers who generally do not wish to appear hostile to the military.

Arizona Senator John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was first to call for a separate vote.

On Monday, two prominent senators, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Susan Collins of Maine, asked the Pentagon to release its report on repeal earlier than its scheduled December 1 release. The pair said several senators were unprepared to debate the issue until they have had a chance to read the military's findings.

Opponents of the gay ban are urging lawmakers to consider repeal before Republicans gain control of the House and increase their numbers in the Senate next year.