Think this bill was meant to fail, even by its writers. But, I believe they intended it to serve a few purposes:
1. Make it appear as if they're are "doing something" to fight back against the 'evil'.
2. Try to get some more support, while the bill is whittled down to only a few items from the initial list of restrictions/bans.
3. Test the waters to see the public's reaction, in preparation for a potential push for gun control legislation if BHO were to be re-elected.
No matter what, even some Democrats that would normally support a bill like this seem to consider this one's timing as exceptionally poor.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."