President Bush won expressions of bipartisan support from congressional leaders yesterday for a goal of trying to "persuade Iraq to withdraw" from Kuwait through international economic pressure and "without further violence." But members of Congress also raised new questions about the cost, duration and purpose of the U.S. military deployment in the Persian Gulf.

In particular, lawmakers who met with Bush for about an hour yesterday pressed him to obtain more help from U.S. allies and other Arab nations for the military buildup taking place in Saudi Arabia and on the seas near Iraq. Bush promised that Japan and West Germany would be offering more financial assistance and that other nations would make larger contributions in the near future, according to participants in the meeting.

Separately, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), an influential member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for the removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, saying that it was not enough to force him to pull out of Kuwait, given his accumulation of chemical weapons and his efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. Bush shied from this approach in his private meeting with members of Congress, participants said.

The lawmakers expressed growing anxiety about the costs of the military deployment and the impact of the gulf conflict on energy supplies. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said he urged Bush to impose a specific new tax to finance the billions of dollars in added costs for the Persian Gulf operation and "demonstrate to the world that we are in there for the long run."

House Majority Whip William H. Gray III (D-Pa.) said the massive military deployment is "going to cost a great deal," adding to the mounting budget deficit, and suggested that Congress and the White House need to rethink military spending priorities.

Rep. Norman D. Dicks (D-Wash.) said that while his constituents support Bush, "they are very concerned about who is going to pay for this."

Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) said Bush "has made the right decision" in sending U.S. forces to the gulf to defend Saudi Arabia and enforce the embargo of Iraq. But Mitchell responded "of course not" when asked if Democrats were giving Bush a blank check.

"Approval of past action is not blanket approval of all future action without knowing what that action will be," he said.

Bush, making his first formal report to congressional leaders since the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the largest U.S. military deployment overseas since the Vietnam War, told the lawmakers that administration policy is to force Iraq out of Kuwait through the embargo and not military means, at least for now.

In a statement at the opening, public portion of his meeting with the lawmakers, Bush declared: "Where do we want to go? Well, our intention, and indeed the intention of almost every country in the world, is to persuade Iraq to withdraw, that it cannot benefit from this illegal occupation, that it will pay a stiff price by trying to hold on, and an even stiffer price by widening the conflict.

"And, of course, we seek to achieve these goals without further violence," he added. Bush repeated that U.S. policy is "the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait, the restoration of Kuwait's legitimate government, {the} security and stability of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, and the protection of American citizens abroad."

"When it comes to the safety and well-being of American citizens held against their will, I will hold Baghdad responsible," Bush said.

Bush asserted that the international embargo of Iraq, embodied in sanctions approved by the United Nations, is "working remarkably well, even on a voluntary basis." He added, "Iraqi oil no longer flows through pipelines to ports in Turkey and Saudi Arabia . . . and today reports indicate that traffic through {Jordan's Red Sea port of} Aqaba has come virtually to a halt."

Responding to criticism that his administration had tilted toward Iraq during that country's eight-year war with Iran and may have miscalculated Saddam's postwar intentions, Bush said that at the end of that war in 1988 the United States had sought to "improve relations with Iraq. While we held no illusions about that, we hoped, along with many in the Congress, that Iraqi behavior might be moderated."

Although Bush did not mention it, many in Congress favored punishing Saddam for his aggressive behavior by imposing economic sanctions against Baghdad even before the invasion of Kuwait. The administration opposed such sanctions in congressional testimony just before the invasion.

Bush did note two other actions the administration took in response to complaints from Capitol Hill before the invasion: suspension of agricultural credits and barring the export of furnaces that could contribute to Iraq's nuclear capabilities.

Bush did not suggest, as he has previously, that the United States would like to see Saddam overthrown. According to a participant, he told the lawmakers in the meeting, which was closed after the president's opening statement, that he felt it was not a good idea to talk publicly about such an option. Participants also said that when pressed about the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, Bush said he would not speculate in response to hypothetical questions.

However, Lugar publicly called for Saddam's removal. "My own view is that he does have to leave the leadership of the country," Lugar told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. Even with an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, he said, the United States could not "walk away" from a situation in which Iraq possesses chemical weapons and is seeking nuclear ones. "Saddam Hussein has to be dealt with," he said.

Participants in the session with Bush said there was no discussion of the War Powers Resolution, which would give Congress under certain circumstances a vote on the military deployments. The lawmakers said they felt Bush had gone far enough in consulting with them with a letter explaining the actions.

Bush emphasized using the economic embargo to pressure Saddam to retreat, and many lawmakers said economic pressure, rather than seeking a military solution, was the correct approach to the crisis.

House Speaker Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) said Bush "wisely restrained the use of force." Other lawmakers said Bush was given bipartisan support for the actions he has taken so far. "There was not a single criticism about actions to this point," said Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa), who added, however, that there was a recognition that there are "tough decisions to come."

Foley said the chief concern was that U.S. allies and Arab nations shoulder a larger share of the burden.

Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.) said, "I have real questions obviously about what we're doing to get some real substantial support from our allies besides votes in the United Nations. This is about saving the economy of the global village, and if we ruin our economy while we save everyone else, it won't be too smart."

Other questions from the lawmakers focused on the energy and budget impact of the crisis. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) questioned Bush about "the fact that we don't have a good enough energy policy and that we are unfortunately dependent upon the Middle East oil for our energy needs," according to Rep. Carroll Hubbard Jr. (D-Ky.). Hubbard predicted that when Congress returns in September, lawmakers will take a new look at administration policy on offshore oil drilling.

Lugar said Bush outlined efforts to make up the shortfall in Iraqi oil caused by the embargo, including efforts by other nations to pump more oil. The president said these measures are making up 50 percent of the loss so far.

Leahy, who participated in a smaller meeting involving Bush and congressional leaders before the larger gathering, said he had urged Bush to "go on a pay-as-you-go basis" in financing the added expense of the deployments. "For the long term, we ought to have a special tax, a surcharge, some specific tax aimed just for this," he said. This would demonstrate that the United States would remain in the region "without having to {cut} other programs in our budget."

"We can pay for what we're doing in one of three ways," he said. "We can put it on a credit card and add to the deficit. We can take from basic programs we need in this country -- health, education . . . or we can have a specific tax for it. . . . I think the American people, much as they dislike the idea of any taxes, on this one they would support it and now is the time to do it."

House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said the gulf crisis has made a budget agreement between Congress and the White House more urgent.

"If we needed a budget agreement before, we need it worse since this has happened," he said. "If we add defense costs to what already was there, then surely we've got to have a budget agreement that cuts spending elsewhere or does something on the revenue front."

Gray said the military deployments could cost between $10 billion and $15 billion for this year. He suggested that Congress and the president reexamine the need for some expensive strategic weapon programs such as the B-2 bomber, which he said are "really not what you need" given the current crisis.

Staff writers Don Phillips and Keith Kendrick contributed to this report.