US senators seek to make daylight savings permanent so ‘we don’t have to keep doing this stupidity’

As Americans prepared for a biannual exercise in “stupidity,” senators renewed their calls to do away with the practice for good.

For as long as Daylight Saving Time has existed there have been detractors of the policy that sees the clocks advanced one hour in March only to be returned to Standard Time in November. Amounting to little more than a rhythm disruptor and an hour less sleep for many, Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey (D) and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) pushed to advance their stalled Sunshine Protection Act.

In a statement released by Markey Friday on the bipartisan bill that had been sponsored by Rubio and originally co-sponsored by 8 lawmakers including Markey, the Massachusetts senator declared, “Instead of springing forward and falling back every year, we should just make Daylight Savings Time permanent.”

“The antiquated biannual ritual of toggling between times isn’t just an inconvenience–it also has very real impacts on our economy, our energy consumption, and our health,” continued Markey before leaning into an “Annie” reference. “We know the sun will come out tomorrow, so let’s make that sun stay out an hour late by making Daylight Saving time permanent and passing the Sunshine Protection Act. You can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun … and smiles.”

He wasn’t alone in making light of the legislation that had been introduced in 2022 and unanimously passed as Rubio shared his remarks from the Senate floor that year when he had asked to “pardon the pun, but this is an idea whose time has come.”

“But the good news is, if we can get this passed,” he said at the time, “we don’t have to keep doing this stupidity anymore.”

The 2023 attempt of the Sunshine Protection Act included 11 cosponsors but hadn’t moved past being introduced.

Markey had twice succeeded in bipartisan legislation to extend the duration of Daylight Saving Time from beginning on the last Sunday of April and ending on the last Sunday of October to beginning on the second Sunday of March and ending the first Sunday of November.

In his own statement joining the Massachusetts legislator, Rubio said, “We’re ‘springing forward’ but should have never ‘fallen back.’ My Sunshine Protection Act would end this stupid practice of changing our clocks back and forth.”

Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R) also voiced his approval to “Lock The Clock,” making note of his tenure as Florida governor where his home state, like more than half of the states, had proposed bills to do away with the time changes since 2015.

“Floridians are sick of changing their clocks because we all want more sunshine. It’s time for Congress to act and I’m proud to be leading the bipartisan Sunshine Protection Act with Senator Rubio to get this done. When I was Governor of Florida, I signed this bill into law on the state level. Now it’s Washington’s turn and we should finish the job by passing this good bill today,” said Scott.

Despite an overwhelming consensus to end the practice, there remained disagreement over whether Standard or Saving Time should remain the norm with safety being a leading consideration.

Kevin Haggerty


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