Mar 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Senate passes bill to make daylight saving time permanent

A view of The Statue of Liberty during the first sunset after the clocks changed for Daylight Savings as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge on March 14, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
The Statue of Liberty during the first sunset after daylight saving time began as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge on March 14. Photo: Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images

The Senate passed a measure that would make daylight saving time permanent across the U.S.

Why it matters: If the legislation clears the House and is signed into law by President Biden, it will mean Americans will no longer have to change their clocks twice a year.

Details: The bill — the Sunshine Protection Act co-sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) — was passed by unanimous consent.

  • It would make daylight saving time permanent in 2023.

The big picture: Health groups have called for an end to the seasonal shifting of clocks, a ritual first adopted in the U.S. more than a century ago.

  • At a house hearing last week, health experts cited sleep deprivation and health problems as negative effects associated with changing clocks.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans want to stop changing their clocks, according to a 2021 Economist/YouGov poll.

What they're saying: "No more dark afternoons in the winter. No more losing an hour of sleep every spring. We want more sunshine during our most productive waking hours," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said on the Senate floor after the passage of the bill.

But, but, but: In the 1970s — the last time Congress made daylight saving time permanent — the decision was reversed in less than a year after the early morning darkness proved dangerous for school children and public sentiment changed.

What's next: Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) will lead a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for immediate House passage of his bill, Axios has learned.

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