Congress Votes for Perma-Daylight

03/17/2022
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    Sunlight shines on the U.S. Capitol dome on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on February 21, 2022. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

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The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a measure on Tuesday that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the United States next year. The so-called “Sunshine Protection Act,” would ensure Americans won’t have to change their clocks twice a year. But the bill still needs approval from the House, and the signature of President Joe Biden, to become law.

“No more switching clocks, more daylight hours to spend outside after school and after work, and more smiles—that is what we get with permanent Daylight Saving Time,” says Senator Ed Markey, the original cosponsor of the legislation.

Senators from both parties joined Markey on the chamber floor as they made the case for how making Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent would have positive effects on public health and the economy and even cut energy consumption.

“Changing the clock twice a year is outdated and unnecessary,” Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida says.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Americans want more sunshine and less depression—people in this country, all the way from Seattle to Miami, want the Sunshine Protection Act,” comments Senator Patty Murray of Washington.

Nearly a dozen states across the United States have already standardized DST.

Daylight saving time is a period between spring and fall when clocks in most parts of the country are set one hour ahead of standard time. The United States has officially observed DST since 1918.

Americans last changed their clocks on Sunday, March 13. This year, DST will last until November 6.

Members of Congress have long been interested in the potential benefits and costs of DST since it was first adopted as a wartime measure in 1942. The proposal will now go to the House, where the Energy and Commerce Committee had a hearing to discuss possible legislation last week.

Representative Frank Pallone, the chairman of the committee, agrees that it is “time we stop changing our clocks.” But he says he is undecided about whether Daylight Saving Time or Standard time is the way to go.

Markey used a clever play on words—and maybe a little snark—when he said, “I call on my colleagues in the House of Representatives to lighten up and swiftly pass the Sunshine Protection Act.”

Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years. — Genesis 1:14

(Sunlight shines on the U.S. Capitol dome on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on February 21, 2022. AP/Patrick Semansky)