Senate votes to make Daylight Saving Time permanent

Teaganne Finn
The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen reflected in an ambulance in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2022.
Jon Cherry | Reuters

The Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent in the U.S. starting in 2023.

The bill, called The Sunshine Protection Act, was passed by unanimous consent, meaning no senators opposed it. If enacted, the measure would mean Americans no longer need to change their clocks twice a year.

"We got it passed 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 as a way 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.

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Under the legislation, states with areas exempt from Daylight Saving Time would be permitted to choose the 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," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a co-sponsor of the legislation, 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 the legislation to President Joe Biden's desk. Daylight Saving Time began this past Sunday and lasts until Nov. 6.