Stock tax less likely for jobs bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday played down the possibility of using a stock trade tax to fund jobs legislation, saying it should only be done in conjunction with other countries.

"It would have to be an international rule," Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at her weekly news conference. She said that she did not want to see trading action move to other countries to avoid such a tax.

She noted, "Other nations have proposed this, and we have been the ones who resisted." But global consensus would be difficult, if not impossible, to reach by Dec. 18, when House leaders want to finish their job-creation bill.

Still, Pelosi said the idea of a transaction tax has "substantial currency in our caucus." But, she said, so does diverting money from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, or Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Pelosi declined to say how large a jobs package should be, or affix a price tag. And she left open whether the Democrats' job program would be one large bill, or included in several bills, such as must-pass appropriations bills.

"It doesn't matter so much to us if it's one bill or several bills," Pelosi said. Earlier this week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) had described a process of several committees writing different sections of one large bill.

Republicans have mocked Pelosi and House leaders for their job-creation plans, saying Democrats ignored the economy for months while Republicans called for action. They also warn that Democrats are spending too much money when the nation is already running deficits.