"A financial transaction tax protects our financial markets from speculation and provides the revenue needed to invest in the education, health and communities of the American people."
He also said it would make high-frequency trading "unprofitable," but said this would have the positive effect of reducing speculation on commodities.
Ellison noted that 30 countries around the world have some form of equity transaction tax in place, and while he was not specific, he said it would raise "billions" of dollars to help fund government programs.
Ellison's bill is co-sponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).