Time Falling Back Might Be Thing of the Past

Audrey Smith, Writer

If you have ever been annoyed by moving your clock back and forth twice a year, then Congress may be solving that problem.

On March 15, two days after we set our clocks forward, the Senate unanimously passed legislation, led by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent. Permanent Daylight Saving Time would make the extra hour of daylight in the afternoon permanent, meaning we would never move our clocks again.

The reason for the bill, according to Reuters, is because, “The extra hour of afternoon daylight generates more economic activity and reduces crime and traffic accidents in the evening rush hour.”

The US started observing Daylight Saving Time during WWI as a way to save electricity. After the war the states were left to decide whether to use DST or Standard Time, until WWII occurred. DST then didn’t become a more permanent law until 1966 with the Uniform Time Act.

However, many Americans have since felt contempt with having to reset their clocks twice a year. Several Congressmen (on both sides of the aisle) have also shown staunch support for the permanent DST bill.

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), who is one leading the charge for this movement, explained, “[Changing our clocks] is a burden and a headache we don’t need.”

However, there is an argument that keeping DST would mess up our country’s sunrise schedule. For example, in the winter the sunrise would be around 8pm in some parts of the country, which means Americans will have to commute to work or school in the dark.

And if we end up making Standard Time permanent, Americans, especially on the east coast, will end up having sunrises around 4:30am.

Dante Chinni of NBC News wrote, “No matter what you do with clocks, you can’t change the tilt of the Earth’s axis.”

Many scientists have been leading the argument against DST. They have researched that a shift an hour in the day would disrupt humans circadian rhythms (the sleep-wake cycle). Dr. M. Adeel Rishi told the Boston Globe, “Our internal clock is not connected to the clock on the wall. It’s connected to the sun clock.”

The middle-ground solution seems to be leaving the states to decide whether or not they want to keep a permanent time system. This will solve the problem of different time zones only having a limited hours of sunlight under DST.

Marco Rubio’s bill still needs approval from the House before it is sent to President Biden’s desk. So far, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, has had no comment on Biden’s opinion on the matter.

As Congress fights for a permanent time system, multiple people have pointed out the inaction Congress has taken on much more important issues.

Reuters reports, “Some people questioned why the Senate, which has failed to address climate change, inflation, voting rights, and other major issues, was wasting its time on time.”

As the bill is passed to the House, the bill will probably be put on the back-burner, considering the issues this country is facing right now.