Lawmakers in the House approved a bill Wednesday to end “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 17-year-old law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.

The bill attracted wider support on its second go around in the chamber, which approved the measure in May when it was tucked inside an annual defense bill. The final 250 to 175 vote included 30 defections. Fifteen Republicans voted in favor of repeal and 15 Democrats opposed it.

Repeal now moves back to the Senate, where Republicans, led by Arizona Senator John McCain, have twice before united to block its passage.

“This vote helps build momentum as we push the Senate to take immediate action before the lame-duck session ends,” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the largest group lobbying for repeal, said in a statement.

“Advocates need to keep the pressure on the Senate,” he added. “We'll still need 60 votes to complete the bill and send it directly to the president's desk. We cannot underestimate Senators John McCain and Mitch McConnell, who will do everything they can to kill repeal.”

In a statement released Wednesday, President Obama praised the vote: “We must ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally by their country.”

After the Senate failed last week to approve repeal language bundled within the defense bill, lawmakers altered course and introduced a standalone version. The move appears to have increased the chances of repeal in the Senate.