Senate Unanimously Approves Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

The bill still needs to pass through the House and receive President Biden’s signature to become law

The U.S. Senate passed The Sunshine Protection Act on Tuesday, a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent in the United States starting in 2023.

The measure was unanimously approved by the chamber, but it still needs to pass through the House and reach President Joe Biden’s desk for signature to become law, Reuters reports.

With the exception of Hawaii and non-Navajo areas of Arizona, which permanently observe Standard Time, the US kicked off another period of DLS on Sunday, setting clocks ahead by one hour—until November, when everyone will set their clocks back again. The practice is so odious to some people that 18 states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to provide for year-round Daylight Saving Time since 2018.

One of the bill’s main sponsors, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), cited input from airlines and broadcasters for the planned November 2023 implementation.

“I know this is not the most important issue confronting America but it is one of those issues that there is a lot of agreement… If we can get this passed, we don’t have to do this stupidity anymore,” Rubio said. “Pardon the pun, but this is an idea whose time has come.”

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), another sponsor of the bill, said his support stemmed from the change having “real repercussions on our economy and our daily lives.”

Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the Chairman of The House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a hearing earlier this month that “the loss of that one hour of sleep seems to impact us for days afterwards. It also can cause havoc on the sleeping patterns of our kids and our pets.”

Pallone continued by noting a 2019 poll that found 71 percent of Americans would choose to no longer switch their clocks twice a year. He backs ending the clock switch but has not stated whether he prefers daylight or standard time for the permanent choice.

Some of the arguments against the clock change mentioned the transition’s harm on individuals’ mental health, with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) at the center of the conversation.

A 2017 study published by Epidemiology supports this concept, as an analysis of 185,000 mental illness-related hospital contacts found that the transition resulted in an 11 percent spike in visits for depression.

Daylight Saving Time has been implemented in almost all of the United States since the 1960s following a trial in 1918. The country attempted a similar change to The Sunshine Protection Act in 1973 but ended up repealing it a year later.

Hawaii and Arizona got rid of daylight saving in 1967 and 1968, respectively. The bill would allow them to remain on Standard Time.

Twitter reacted in its typical fashion, with numerous memes being posted about both Sunday’s change and Tuesday’s bill.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.