WASHINGTON — The Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would make daylight saving time permanent in the U.S. starting next year.
The bill, called The Sunshine Protection Act, was passed by unanimous consent, meaning no senators opposed it. If it is enacted, Americans would no longer need to change their clocks twice a year.
“We got it past the Senate, and now the clock is ticking to get the job done so we never have to switch our clocks again,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said on the Senate floor. “So I urge my colleagues in the House to act as swiftly as the Senate — let’s get this bill on President Biden’s desk and deliver more sunshine to Americans across the country.”
Daylight saving time started in the U.S. in 1918 to create more daylight hours during warmer months. It was extended by four weeks starting in 2007. States are not required to follow daylight saving time — Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe it.
Under the legislation, states with areas exempt from daylight saving time would be permitted to choose standard time for those areas.
"It’s time for Congress to take up our bipartisan legislation to make Daylight Saving Time permanent and brighten the coldest months with an extra hour of afternoon sun," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a co-sponsor of the legislation, said in a tweet.
Whitehouse reintroduced the measure last week with Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., James Lankford, R-Okla., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Ed Markey, D-Mass.
The bill now heads to the House, where passage would send it to President Joe Biden's desk. Daylight saving time began Sunday and lasts until Nov. 6.