WASHINGTON — In a surprise decision Tuesday, the Senate passed legislation making daylight saving time, which began this week, permanent for the entire United States.
The bill, titled “Sunshine Protection Act,” was co-sponsored by the Senses. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.). It passed unanimously.
Rubio cited the increase in heart attacks and car accidents during standard time as reasons the country should remove clock switching, in addition to people taking advantage of more late-day sunshine to activities like sports.
“Pardon the pun, but it’s an idea whose time has come,” Rubio said Tuesday, asking the Senate to pass the bill.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), who was chairing the chamber at the time, whispered “Yes” and raised her fists after no senator objected. Arizona does not observe daylight saving time.
The House would still have to approve the legislation and President Joe Biden would have to sign it into law.
“Time is running out to get the job done, so we never have to change the clock again,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), another supporter of the bill, said in a statement. “I therefore urge my colleagues in the House to act as quickly as the Senate. Let’s put this bill on President Biden’s desk and bring more sunshine to Americans across the country. »
Clock switching wouldn’t become a thing of the past just yet. The bill delays the implementation of permanent daylight saving time until 2023 to allow airlines and other companies time to adjust their schedules.
The United States tried permanent daylight saving time in the 1970s due to rising energy prices, but Congress canceled it after just a year due to complaints about no light sunshine in some parts of the country until 9 a.m. Part of the argument was that early morning darkness was dangerous for children going to school, The Washingtonian noted.