Congress served notice on President Bush and Secretary of State James A. Baker III yesterday that it wants America's allies in Europe and the Middle East to assume a greater share of the financial and military burdens that the Persian Gulf crisis has imposed on the United States.

Last night, the State Department reported that the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait was checking into a report that an American had been shot and wounded by an Iraqi soldier in Kuwait City while trying to avoid capture.

A department spokesman said embassy officials had contacted a hospital where the American was believed to have been taken but were unable to determine the extent of the man's injuries or his whereabouts.

Embassy officials have been instructed to contact Iraqi officials and demand information about the reported incident, the State Department said. If the report is confirmed, it would be the first shooting incident involving an American and Iraqi troops since Iraq invaded Kuwait Aug. 2. {Details, Page A29.}

Earlier yesterday, congressional sentiment for more support for the U.S. military effort in the Persian Gulf was conveyed to Bush when he met at the White House with members who have just toured the Middle East and to Baker when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before his departure last night on a trip to Europe and the Middle East. Part of Baker's purpose will be to discuss ways in which the allies can do more to help the United States confront Iraq's aggression against neighboring Kuwait.

"A lot of the members talked about the importance of burden-sharing, about . . . getting these other countries to do the things that have to be done together to stand up," House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said following the White House meeting. "Whether it's sending troops or writing checks or helping in all that needs to be done, I think that's a very important effort."

Baker was greeted with strong bipartisan praise for the administration's military buildup in Saudi Arabia and its efforts to build a tight noose of economic and diplomatic sanctions around Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government.

At the White House, Bush telephoned U.S. Ambassador W. Nathaniel Howell at the beleaguered embassy in Kuwait City to offer encouragement to those who are "struggling with a very difficult situation," White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said.

On Capitol Hill, Baker for the second day said the administration believes that after the immediate crisis is over, thought should be given to creating a regional security alliance among the countries of the gulf region. But, under heavy questioning about what that would involve, he insisted, "We've only begun our thinking with respect to the subject." He insisted that the administration has no specific model such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in mind and said repeatedly: "Our thinking is very preliminary."

Several committee members also said they were disturbed by what they perceive as a grudging attitude among allies such as West Germany and Japan, nations more heavily dependent on Persian Gulf oil than the United States, about helping the administration. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.), summing up the prevailing attitude, told Baker, "These other countries should be reminded that they are helping themselves, not doing the United States a favor."

Baker replied that other countries have given the United States strong support in the U.N. Security Council and elsewhere to impose "unprecedented, broad sanctions on Iraq," and he noted that 25 countries have sent military forces to the gulf. But, he acknowledged, successful international action requires what he called "responsibility-sharing rather than burden-sharing," and he promised that he and Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady will press the allies for increased cooperation and help.

Before leaving on his trip, which will include attending Bush's summit with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in Helsinki on Sunday, Baker met for the first time yesterday with Israel's new foreign minister, David Levy. Their scheduled meeting Aug. 9 was postponed abruptly because the administration did not want to call attention to its ties to Israel while it was assembling a coalition of Arab states to support Saudi Arabia and Kuwait against Iraq.

Following their State Department get-together, the two said they would continue efforts to achieve a dialogue between the Israeli government and Palestinians on elections in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, that issue, which a month ago had threatened a major rift between the United States and Israel, has been put on the back burner by the gulf crisis. And Baker said he and Levy agreed that the Palestinian issue should not be linked to the Persian Gulf situation, as Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnardze has proposed.

Baker also said the administration was holding fast to its disapproval of a $400 million housing guarantee to help Israel absorb an influx of Soviet Jews unless Israel guarantees the money will not be used in the occupied territories. However, Baker added, he and Levy had made "good progress" on that issue, and he said, "We hope we will have a resolution fairly promptly." Bush will meet with Levy today at the White House, a spokesman said.

Also yesterday, 24 Americans, who were among the approximately 3,000 U.S. citizens caught in Kuwait and Iraq when the invasion took place on Aug. 2, arrived in Newark, N.J., after a 20-hour flight that began in Amman, Jordan. They were among various foreign nationals -- mostly women, children and men with medical problems -- allowed by Iraq to leave. But the great majority of Americans caught in Kuwait and Iraq are still there, either bogged down in Iraqi red tape or denied permission to leave because Iraq is using them as shields against possible U.S. attack.

In raising the burden-sharing issue, most members of Congress avoided naming countries, although several clearly were referring to West Germany, which has balked at paying part of the cost of the U.S. military buildup, and Japan, which has been embarrassed by the refusal of union seamen to sail to the gulf with a cargo of vehicles urgently needed by U.S. forces.

Rep. David E. Bonior (D-Mich.), chief deputy majority whip in the House, said he will seek to amend a defense authorization bill next week to force Japan to pay the approximately $4.5 billion a year that it costs the United States to station 50,000 troops in Japan.

At the White House meeting, Bush was urged to consider sanctions against countries that violate the embargo with air shipments into Baghdad. Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) said he had proposed such sanctions against Libya and Yemen, whose aircraft continue flights to Baghdad. But Fitzwater said the administration was not prepared to act unilaterally and said interdicting flights would be "a provocative act."

Baker, in his Hill testimony, acknowledged "some leakage" in the embargo because of the flights, but he said Washington believes Iraq cannot meet its import needs "solely from the air."

As Bush prepared for his meeting with Gorbachev, administration officials maintained their upbeat attitude about Soviet policy in the gulf, despite congressional complaints about the continuing presence of Soviet military advisers in Iraq and hints that Moscow is nervous about a potential long-term U.S. presence in the area.

Fitzwater said Soviet cooperation "has impressed us to the point where we are even more more interested in being supportive economically, if we can be." But administration officials said later they have not changed their opposition to direct economic aid to the Soviets, and said there is no linkage to Moscow's gulf policy.

Another subject that raised warning flags on Capitol Hill is the administration's proposal to forgive Egypt's $7 billion military debt. Several Foreign Relations Committee members told Baker they are not ready to endorse that idea. Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), who heads the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees foreign and military aid spending, warned that such action should be taken only in the context of a broader solution to the problem of uncollectible foreign debts owed by such other countries as Israel, Poland, Pakistan and Turkey.

Staff writers Dan Morgan and Tom Kenworthy contributed to this report.