Changing the clocks forward may be a thing of the past after the US Senate voted to make daylight saving time permanent on Tuesday.
After a unanimous vote, the Senate voted to make daylight saving time permanent by approving the Sunshine Protection Act — but in order for it to be put in effect, it must pass in the House of Representatives and then be approved by the President.
As of Wednesday, the White House has not indicated whether or not President Biden supports the bill.
If passed, the bill means that Americans would no longer have to change their clocks two times each year. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, one of the sponsors of the bill, stated on Tuesday that the change would not go into effect until 2023.
“I know this is not the most important issue confronting America, but it’s one of those issues where there’s a lot of agreement…If we can get this passed, we don’t have to do this stupidity anymore,” Rubio stated to Reuters.
US Senate votes to make daylight saving time permanent
Americans, apart from those living in Alaska and Hawaii where daylight saving time is not observed, changed their clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time last weekend.
Many Americans struggle with the time changes, and the bill could even alleviate some of the challenges associated with the practice, such as seasonal depression.
People often complain of losing sleep, forgetting to change their clocks, or simply “feeling off” due to the practice.
Not only that, but studies show that there is a slight increase in car accidents around the time that clocks change, as well as a small uptick in heart attacks and strokes.
US Representative Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey, highlighted the disruptive nature of daylight saving time at a meeting of the House Energy and Commerce committee last week.
“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,” he stated.
Pallone then cited a poll from 2019 that states that 71% of Americans would prefer not to change their clocks to daylight saving time.
In the past, the practice was used to conserve energy as it increased the number of daylight hours, meaning people would light their homes less.
The practice began during World War I, when conserving energy was particularly important, but it only became a rule during the 60s. The practice make Summer days long and Winter days shorter, and is observed in 70 countries around the world.
Nearly 30 US states have tried to end the changing of clocks to daylight saving time since 2015, but many have stated that they will only do so if nearby states also end the practice.