"I don't know anybody in business who hires an employee because they will get a tax break," Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) said Wednesday. "They hire employees because they have work to do."
Obama proposed the tax credit as part of his plan to refocus his administration's efforts to ease unemployment in the run-up to congressional elections in November. Senate Democrats are coalescing around their own version of the tax break, but House Democrats have been slower to embrace the idea.
Obama wants to give companies a $5,000 tax credit for each net new worker they hire in 2010.
Also, businesses that increase wages or hours for existing workers in 2010 would be reimbursed for the extra Social Security payroll taxes they would pay.
The lawmakers challenged Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Wednesday to come up with a better way to create jobs.