After a long summer of watching federal probes of the District government unfold, Congress has started to vent its concern while D.C. Council members nervously await the political fallout from the continuing investigation.

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, alarmed by reports that Mayor Marion Barry's ceremonial fund may have been used to help pay for his wife's fur coat and was used for a personal loan, are expected to vote today on an amendment requiring a full disclosure and audit of expenditures from the heretofore secret fund.

The amendment, drafted by Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) and similar to a measure about to be considered by the D.C. Council, is a clear signal of growing concern on Capitol Hill about the wide-ranging corruption probes.

"At this point, it is more than just an image problem," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the D.C. Appropriations subcommittee who until now has been circumspect in criticizing the city. ". . . What's happening in the District is having an impact up here. I think there will be a closer look at {city} appropriations in the future."

Voicing a view shared by many of his colleagues, Sen. John C. Danforth (Mo.), a prominent Republican and a former state attorney general, described the District as "a rare combination of corruption and bumbling incompetence."

"Some governments are corrupt but are known for their competency in running the city," said Danforth, an opponent of D.C. statehood. "Others are incompetent but are considered 'clean.' This government is scandalously corrupt and hopelessly incompetent."

Some House members said this week that concern over the probes might hurt the chances for passage of the D.C. statehood bill, although Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.), chief author of the bill, disagreed.

"I think it's safe to say the vast majority of members of the House, including myself, are disappointed {in the city's handling of the ceremonial fund}," he said. "However, I'd have to say that members generally know we are not applying for sainthood, we're applying for statehood."

D.C. Council Chairman David A. Clarke, who just returned with his colleagues from an eight-week summer recess, said it is too soon to assess whether the probes have seriously damaged Barry's political standing or weakened his hand in pushing through his legislative agenda.

"I am not one who believes that mayoral politics are going to be put to a test before 1990," said Clarke, who frequently has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Barry. "I don't see any early vacation of the office by Barry . . . . Anybody who is talking about it any sooner than that is engaging in possibly wishful thinking."

Council member H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7), a Barry supporter, sought to play down the political significance of the investigation.

"When I go out to meetings in my ward, they don't want to hear about it," Crawford said. "They want to know who's going to pick up my trash . . . . When am I going to get my street fixed?"

A test of Barry's strength could come soon, as the council takes up a long list of issues, including the mayor's controversial nomination of Californian M. Jerome Woods to head the Department of Human Services, proposed changes in the residency requirement for city workers, and a bill to ban smoking in public places.

Dwight S. Cropp, the mayor's director of intergovernmental relations, said Barry's agenda has not been altered or weakened by the corruption probes.

"We have not been at all {affected} by anything that may have occured {with the investigation}," Cropp said. "We've been conducting business as usual . . . . We have not been at all preoccupied with other issues."

Julius W. Hobson Jr., the city's chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill, declined to comment on specific criticisms from members of Congress.

"Out of 36,000 District employes, only 11 people have been convicted, of whom only four were directly appointed by the mayor," Hobson said. "Four is not massive corruption by any stretch of the imagination.

"The city is committed to making sure the government is operating efficiently and competently, and we believe we have done that through the delivery of basic services."

Barry acknowledged in an interview last week that a former aide, Robert Robinson, may have used $1,500 from the ceremonial fund to help pay for a fur coat for the mayor's wife, Effi. He also disclosed that money from the fund was used for a loan of $1,850 in 1984 to Anita Bonds, the mayor's principal political adviser. Records of nearly two years of expenditures from the fund, sought by a grand jury, were "routinely" destroyed, according to District officials.

In approving the city's fiscal 1988 budget, the council increased the amount of city funds available in the ceremonial fund from $17,500 to $50,000 a year and divided the funds equally between the mayor's office and council members. Barry now plans to submit legislation, which he and Clarke agreed to months ago, requiring an annual audit of the funds, used for official entertainment and gifts for dignataries.

Nickles intends to introduce a similar measure today as an amendment to the District's fiscal 1988 appropriations bill.

"There certainly have been abuse and a lack of accounting of funds of that nature," Nickels said. ". . .Checks written to cash and expenditures for fur coats does not speak well for the government."

A city official who declined to be identified said the relentless media coverage of the probes into alleged contract irregularities and corruption has provided opponents of the D.C. statehood bill with an excuse to vote against the bill, apart from the constitutional arguments raised by Rep. Stan Parris (R-Va.) and other House Republicans.

Rep. Mervyn M. Dymally (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and a member of the District Committee, said that leaks and reports about the grand jury probe and jury probe will discourage uncommitteed House members from going along with the statehood bill.

"I don't think the people who support statehood will be sidetracked . . . but others who are uncommitted are very nervous," he said. "They want to know what is going on. No one is opposed to a grand jury investigation. What they are concerned about is the frequency of the leaks and their intensity."

Fauntroy said yesterday that the statehood bill has 101 cosponsors and that 74 other House members have agreed informally to support the bill. He predicted that the House would approve the bill late next month.