Senior Republicans on the House and Senate foreign affairs committees said Thursday that they would hold hearings to determine whether the Clinton administration has weakened inspection efforts by the U.N. Special Commission directed to disarm Iraq of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, and Rep. Benjamin Gilman, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, said they were deeply troubled by allegations by Scott Ritter, a senior American inspector who resigned on Wednesday in protest of administration policy and Security Council inaction on Iraq.Ritter, 37, said in his resignation letter and in interviews that the administration had helped scuttle aggressive inspections by the Special Commission.