Spring forward and fall back could be fading into the sunset.
The Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make daylight saving time permanent. If approved by the House and signed by President Joe Biden, Americans would no longer have to set their clocks back an hour and lose an hour of afternoon daylight in the fall and winter.
The Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act on unanimous consent, meaning no senator objected to the measure.
“Just this past weekend, we all went through that biannual ritual of changing the clock back and forth and the disruption that comes with it. And one has to ask themselves after a while why do we keep doing it,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the bill’s sponsor.
“If we can get this passed, we don’t have to keep doing this stupidity anymore,” Rubio said. “Why we would enshrine this in our laws and keep it for so long is beyond me.”
The first law in the U.S. to establish daylight saving time passed in 1918 during World War I as a way to conserve fuel needed for war industries and extend the workday. The time switching then became federal policy under the Uniform Time Act in 1966.
Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart has been among the lawmakers pushing to end changing clocks. He introduced legislation last year to let states make daylight saving time permanent, giving residents more evening sunlight year-round.
Since 2015, at least 350 bills and resolutions have been introduced in nearly every state over the country’s biannual changing of the clocks, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
But it was Florida that started a political movement by enacting legislation that would permanently observe daylight saving time in that state, pending a change in federal law. Some 18 states, including Utah, followed suit.
In 2020, then-Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent in Utah, but only with approval from Congress and if there is similar legislation in at least four other Western states.
Rubio said he hopes the House will act quickly on the Senate bill.
The latest attempted switch will only get to Biden’s desk to become law if the House passes the measure, and that chamber’s plans remain unclear. A House Democratic leadership aide was not immediately available for comment on Senate passage of the bill, according to Politico.
Rubio said the new law would not take effect until November 2023 to accommodate the transportation industry where airline and train schedules are already set.