A House panel has voted to delay President Barack Obama's new policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military.

The House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment that would require all four service chiefs to certify the change won't hurt readiness. The repeal law only requires certification from the president, defense secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman. The vote was 33-27.

Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. of California said Obama never served in the military, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was a political appointee and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen wasn't in ground combat.

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, the top Democrat on the committee, said that comment was dangerous, suggesting the three weren't qualified to make military decisions.