Bipartisan bill to make daylight saving time permanent gets rolled out again


Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle launched a fresh push this month for a bill that would make the U.S. stick with daylight-saving time all year, with the move coming as most Americans are due to spring forward by an hour on Sunday.

The Senate unanimously approved the measure a year ago, but the Sunshine Protection Act didn’t find traction last year in the House of Representatives, as the head of one key committee said it’s not clear whether it’s better to make daylight-saving time permanent or stick year-round with standard time, if a change from the status quo is to be made at all.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has argued for adopting year-round standard time and opposed the Sunshine Protection Act, saying in a recent statement that its approach “best aligns with the body’s internal clock.”

The bill to make daylight-saving time permanent was reintroduced on March 1 in both the Democratic-run Senate and the GOP-controlled House. Its backers in the Senate include Republicans such as Florida’s Marco Rubio and Oklahoma’s James Lankford, along with Democrats such as Minnesota’s Tina Smith and Oregon’s Ron Wyden.

“This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid. Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support. This Congress, I hope that we can finally get this done,” Rubio said in a statement.

Wyden said: “It’s time to put a stop to the twice-a-year time-change madness. Science and common sense show that more year-round daylight would improve our health, help kids spend a bit more time enjoying outdoor after-school activities, and encourage folks to support local businesses while on a sunny stroll in their communities.”

While the measure got the Senate’s OK last year, its prospects aren’t necessarily that strong. Congressional staff and lawmakers have surmised that Senate passage by unanimous consent was a fluke, with a senator intending to object to the request but missing the chance, according to a recent Politico report.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy criticized the legislation last year, when he was the chamber’s minority leader.

“I don’t think it’s a good bill,” the California Republican said at that time, according to a Hill report. The measure hit a brick wall in the House last year in part because Democratic and GOP lawmakers representing farming areas don’t favor permanent daylight-saving time, but instead like when there’s more sunlight in the morning, the report added.

Washington tried switching the country to permanent daylight-saving time in 1974. A New York Times report from that year said the experiment “ran afoul of public opinion — parents became concerned about traffic accidents involving their children, who were going to school in the predawn darkness on winter mornings.”

Two U.S. states don’t change their clocks at all — Hawaii and Arizona.

Now read: Six things worth knowing about daylight-saving time

And see: How daylight-saving time could impact your decision-making

Plus: 7 tips to spring forward without losing too much sleep




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