The US Senate on Tuesday passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, a bill to make daylight saving hours permanent till 2023. The piece of legislation is awaiting the approval of the House of Representatives and the signature of President Joe Biden to officially become law.
The president’s stand on it has not been confirmed by the White House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spokeswoman declined to say if she supports the bill but said she was evaluating it carefully.
The proposed law is aimed to have brighter hours in the afternoon in the hope of increasing economic activity. The legislation has the backing of airline and broadcasting companies. Other supporters of the bill claim that this will allow children to play outdoors longer and have a positive impact on lowering seasonal depression incidents.
Currently, in the US, clocks are changed once in November and once in March as per the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The daylight starts on the second Sunday of March at 2:00 am local time and ends on the first Sunday of November.
According to many accounts of health experts, this move contributes to sleep deprivation and causes a multitude of bodily ailments.
At least 18 states have already passed similar laws in their own state legislatures according to the National Public Radio. However, this needs to be ratified as a federal law in order to come into effect. Even the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is in favour of a national round the year clock. There are research findings that go on to say that biannual time switching leads to workplace injuries and even a rise in the number of fatal road accidents.
Marco Rubio, one of the most vocal supporters of the Bill, said with this decision the country is not going to be forced to engage in “stupidity” anymore while contending this was not the most important issue of the day. Currently, clocks in the US are adjusted twice a year. He also used a pun and said that this was an idea “whose time has come”.