Sen. Hillary Clinton said the discussion of gay marriage in Congress this week is a priority of the "political machine of the White House and the Republican majority" but her constituents put other concerns first.

"When I travel around and speak with people whom I'm representing, they worry about everything from terrorism to gas prices to the cost of health care to energy independence," Clinton said Monday at a fundraising luncheon. "There's a long list. What we're going to do this week is not on the list. It is unfortunately on the list of the political machine of the White House and the Republican majority."

Clinton spoke to a crowd of about 1,500 people at the New York Women for Hillary lunch, which was expected to raise more than $350,000 for her already well-funded re-election campaign.

After showing her campaign video, Clinton told her audience that in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks the country could have been brought together but the Bush administration did not take advantage of that and instead focused on divisive issues like gay marriage.

"After 9/11, I think the president could have asked us to do anything and we would have done it," she said, offering as examples taking on health care issues and lessening gas usage. "There were so many opportunities and, unfortunately, a different kind of decision was made. We're seeing it again this week."

President Bush has been outspoken in his support of a constitutional ban on gay marriage.