Democrats are trying to organize Congress. That sounds like the opening of a joke, but the punch line might not be what you’d expect. House leadership wants to allow collective bargaining for congressional staff, which would do little to improve work conditions, cause a lot of headaches, and solve little.

On Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would vote this week on a resolution, introduced in February by Rep. Andy Levin (D., Mich.), which would allow House staffers to bargain collectively.

As a former House and Senate staffer, I know how complicated it would be to organize 435 House offices, to say nothing of leadership and committee staffs. And would staff in a member’s district join the same bargaining unit as those in Washington, though they reside in different states and often perform different functions?

Federal law precludes “management officials” and “supervisors” whose positions require “the consistent exercise of independent judgment” from collectively bargaining. This language likely would preclude most congressional chiefs of staff and potentially other senior staff from joining a union. Some House offices could have only a few staff members who qualify for “collective” bargaining.

Another issue comes from high turnover in many congressional offices. With the tenure of many staffers measured in months, many who want to organize now likely would leave before a bargaining agreement could be finalized. The combination of small bargaining units and frequent turnover could result in multiple votes to certify or decertify a bargaining unit.

Then there are the implications for congressional autonomy. Would a member’s positions on legislation be subject to collective bargaining? Would a lawmaker be prohibited from terminating a staffer who publicly disagreed with his votes or stated positions? Would staff be permitted to lobby Congress on the union’s behalf? The board that issued the 1996 regulations examined all these issues and stated that it lacked authority to adjudicate such matters. Mr. Levin’s resolution answers none of them. Democrats should stop trying to pass this resolution and emulate the executive branch, which prohibits collective bargaining for the Executive Office of the President.

In this organizing campaign no one is willing to be seen admitting that the concept is absurd, though an unnamed senior Democratic aide admitted that “I don’t think anybody wants to stop unionization” but “no one knows how it would work.”

As a practical matter, the congressional unionizing effort may end soon anyway. Mrs. Pelosi may muscle the Levin resolution through the House this week, but if Republicans regain control of the House in November they will likely repeal it. (No Senate or presidential action is necessary to pass or repeal this resolution because, as per the Constitution, “each house may determine the rules of its proceedings.”)

March’s omnibus legislation included a 21% increase for representatives’ budgets, allowing members to increase staff pay. Mrs. Pelosi went further on Friday, announcing a minimum salary of $45,000 a year for all House staff.

With the largest source of staff discontent largely addressed, the House’s unionization effort looks like a solution in search of a problem. Junior staffers on Capitol Hill already feel squeezed by skyrocketing inflation, and the last thing they need is Democratic leaders pushing them to pay union dues. If Democrats want to engage in virtue signaling while their legislative agenda remains stalled, they should at least avoid “solutions” that would pilfer hard-earned money from House staffers to fund their labor allies.