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

WASHINGTON, March 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent from 2023, ending the biannual clock change in a move promoted by supporters advocating afternoon brighter and more economic activity.

The Senate approved the measure, called the Sunshine Protection Act, unanimously by voice vote. The House of Representatives, which held a committee hearing on the matter, still needs to pass the bill before it can be sent to President Joe Biden for signature.

The White House has not said whether Biden supports her. A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to say whether she supports the measure, but said she is reviewing it closely.

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Senator Marco Rubio, one of the bill’s sponsors, said supporters had agreed the change wouldn’t happen until November 2023 after airlines and broadcasters contribute.

The change would allow children to play outside later and reduce seasonal depression, proponents say.

“I know it’s not the most important issue facing America, but it’s one of those issues that there’s a lot of agreement on,” Rubio said. “If we can get this through, we don’t have to do this stupidity anymore.”

“Pardon the pun, but it’s an idea whose time has come,” he added.

The National Association of Convenience Stores opposes the change, telling Congress this month “we shouldn’t let kids go to school in the dark.”

On Sunday, most of the United States resumed daylight saving time, advancing an hour. The United States will resume Standard Time in November.

Since 2015, around 30 states have introduced legislation to end the biannual clock change, with some states offering to do so only if neighboring states do the same.

The House Energy and Commerce committee held a hearing on the matter last week, at which Rep. Frank Pallone, chair of the committee, said: “The loss of that hour of sleep seems to affect us for days. It can also wreak havoc on the sleeping habits of our children and our pets.”

Pallone supports end of clock switching but has not decided to support daylight saving time or winter time as a permanent choice.

During the hearing, Beth Malow, director of the Vanderbilt Sleep Division, argued that daylight saving time makes it harder to be alert in the morning, saying “it’s like living in the wrong time zone for almost eight months a year”.

Pallone cited a 2019 poll that found 71% of Americans would rather not change their clocks twice a year.

Proponents say the change could prevent an uptick in car accidents that typically happen around daylight savings time changes and point to studies showing a slight increase in the rate of heart attacks and strokes soon after the change. hour. They argue the measure could help businesses such as golf courses that could be used more with more daylight in the evening.

“It has real implications for our economy and our daily lives,” said Sen. Ed Markey, another high profile sponsor.

DST has been in place in nearly all of the United States since the 1960s after it was first tried in 1918. Year-round DST was used during World War II and adopted again in 1973 in an effort to reduce energy consumption due to an oil embargo and repealed a year later.

The bill would allow Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe daylight saving time, to stay on standard time as well as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Porto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

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Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Will Dunham, Chizu Nomiyama and Karishma Singh

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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