Washington, D.C. – Two days into Daylight Saving Time, the U.S. Senate has passed Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) legislation to make it permanent nationwide.
Whitehouse joined fellow cosponsors of the Sunshine Protection Act on the Senate floor this afternoon to move the bill’s passage. The Senate then passed the legislation by unanimous consent, sending it to the House of Representatives.
“Resetting the clocks may soon be a thing of the past,” said Whitehouse. “This is a bipartisan bill that has received a very strong response from constituents. I’m hopeful we can get the House of Representatives on board with an extra hour of afternoon sun in the winter and send this bill to the President’s desk.”
Daylight Saving Time began Sunday at 2 a.m. and will last through the beginning of November. In the past four years, eighteen states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to mandate year-round Daylight Saving Time, but Congress must act before states can adopt the changes.
There is considerable evidence that making Daylight Saving Time permanent would benefit the American economy and public health. Studies have shown that economic activity is reduced during Standard Time, and permanent Daylight Saving Time would lead to greater energy savings. Spending more standard work hours in sunlight would reduce rates of seasonal depression. Americans exercise more frequently during Daylight Saving Time, reducing the risk of stroke and heart problems. Research also suggests that the extra hour of afternoon sun leads to fewer car accidents and evening robberies.
Whitehouse is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan legislation, which is also sponsored by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Whitehouse sponsored a version of the legislation in the previous Congress as well.
Watch video of Senator Whitehouse’s remarks here. View the full text of the legislation here.
Meaghan McCabe, (401) 453-5294