Fancy Thinking, or Rules Violation
There is a Rule of the House which says you can't promise to allow an earmark based on someone else's vote on some other bill. I'm sure the goal was to reduce horse-trading.
You want to vote against allowing anyone to have any earmarks, but you want earmarks?
David Obey (D-WI), a very powerful member of the House, sent a letter to all Republicans, just Republicans, saying, quoted from The Hill.
the first box stated: “I believe the House should suspend earmarks for the year. Consistent with this position, I will therefore be submitting no earmark requests for fiscal year 2009.”
The second box read: “I believe the House should continue to provide responsible earmarks at a reasonable level and consistent with that position, I will be submitting appropriate requests for fiscal year 2009.”