On Tuesday, the United States Senate approved a measure making daylight saving time (DST) permanent across the country.
The measure will now get the House of Representatives for approval. Once it gets that and secures the signature of the President, DST will be permanent starting in 2023.
Sunshine Protection Act Makes Daylight Saving Time Permanent
Once enacted, a permanent Daylight Saving Time means that Americans won’t need to adjust their clocks twice a year. Titled ‘The Sunshine Protection Act,’ the bill received unanimous approval from senators.
This is a rare bipartisan event where nobody from either party opposed a bill. Now, it heads to the House of Representatives for a similar vote.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) urged the House to approve the act as well. “We got it past the Senate,” she proclaimed. “The clock is ticking to get the job done so we never have to switch our clocks again,” she added.
Why The Need For Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time is a measure by which a country advances clocks by one hour in order to take advantage of more sunlight. This causes darkness to fall at a later clock time.
Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea in 1784 to save on candles. However, the US first adopted DST in 1918 to create more daylight hours during warmer months.
In 2007, the US extended DST by four additional weeks to get more daylight. Last Sunday marked the annual adjustment for Daylight Saving Time. DST will take effect until November 6.
However, there are states that do not find any need for adjusting clocks by one hour. Hawaii and a majority of Arizona do not practice DST.
Under the approved Senate bill, states exempt from DST can choose to implement standard time. Sponsors said that a permanent DST means more outdoor playing time for children. Advancing the clock also means a reduction in seasonal depression, according to proponents.
Clock Ticks For Congress to Approve Permanent Daylight Saving Time
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is a co-sponsor of the Sunshine Protection Act. He tweeted an appeal to fellow lawmakers to approve the bill. “It’s time for Congress to take up our bipartisan legislation to make Daylight Saving Time permanent’, he said.
Doing so can “brighten the coldest months with an extra hour of the afternoon sun,” he added.
Last week, Sen. Whitehouse reintroduced the bill with a bipartisan team. This includes Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott (FL), James Lankford (OK), Roy Blunt (MO), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS). It also includes Democrats Ron Wyden (OR) and Ed Markey (MA).
No Idea If Biden Supports Permanent DST
Despite the bipartisan and unanimous approval, President Joe Biden did not indicate if he will support the bill or not.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also declined to confirm her support for the measure. However, she said she will review the bill and check its merits.
Rubio, on the advice of airlines and broadcasters, said the rule will take effect no earlier than November 2023. He said this isn’t the most pressing issue, but “it’s one of those issues where there’s a lot of agreement.
If we can get this passed, we don’t have to do this stupidity anymore. Pardon the pun, but this is an idea whose time has come,” he added.
Not everyone approves the idea, though. The National Association of Convenience Stores opposes the change. It told Congress that “we should not have kids going to school in the dark.”
Watch the CBS Evening News reporting that the Senate approves permanent Daylight Saving Time:
Do you approve or disapprove of the measure making Daylight Saving Time permanent? What do you find hard when switching clock times twice a year?
Let us know what you think of DST. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.