U.S. Senate approves bill to make daylight saving time permanent

The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023, a move advocated by supporters who believe it will result in a more active economy and brighter afternoons. (Reuters – March 15, Washington)

The bill must still pass committee hearing in the House of Representatives for Joe Biden to sign it as President. The measure, known as the Sunshine Protection Act, was unanimously approved by the Senate through a voice vote.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, declined to say if she supports it closely reviewing the measure, according to a spokesman for her. The White House has said whether Biden supports it.

Following feedback from airlines and broadcasters, Senator Marco Rubio, who is one of the sponsors of the bill, stated that proponents reached a consensus that the modification would not occur until November 2023.

According to advocates, the alteration would enable children to participate in outdoor pursuits for an extended duration and alleviate seasonal melancholy.

Rubio stated that if we can pass this, we should no longer have any more foolishness. There is a lot of agreement where these issues are concerned, and it is one of them. I am aware that this is not the most important issue America is facing.

“Excuse the play on words, but this is a concept that is long overdue,” he added.

“We should not have kids going to school in the dark, especially this month when the National Association of Convenience Stores opposes the change Congress is telling us.”

The United States will resume daylight saving time on Sunday, moving one hour ahead in the standard time of November.

Since 2015, approximately 30 states have proposed legislation to discontinue the biannual clock adjustments, with some states suggesting they will only do so if neighboring states follow suit.

The previous week, the House Energy and Commerce committee conducted a hearing on the matter where Representative Frank Pallone, the chairman of the committee, stated, “The deprivation of that single hour of sleep appears to affect us for several days thereafter. Additionally, it can disrupt the sleep schedules of our children and our pets.”

Pallone supports ending the clock-switching but has not determined whether to endorse daylight or standard time as the permanent option.

During the hearing at Vanderbilt’s Division of Sleep, Director Beth Malow argued that living in the wrong time zone for almost eight months out of the year makes it harder to be alert in the morning, as claimed by proponents of daylight saving time.

Pallone referenced a 2019 survey which discovered that 71% of Americans would rather not continue changing their clocks biannually.

Evening daylight could potentially assist businesses such as golf courses by drawing more people. Some studies suggest that changing the time soon after could lead to a small increase in heart attack and stroke rates, indicating that making changes to the time could potentially prevent a slight uptick in car crashes that typically occur around that time.

“It has genuine consequences on our economy and our everyday lives,” stated Senator Ed Markey, another prominent supporter.

Repealed one year later and reintroduced in 1973 in an attempt to decrease energy consumption due to an oil embargo, year-round daylight savings time was implemented during World War Two. Since the 1960s, daylight saving time has been enforced in almost all of the United States following its initial experimentation in 1918.

The bill would allow Hawaii and Arizona to not observe daylight saving time, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

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