Daylight Saving Time, Which Congress Could Make Permanent


Two bills introduced in Congress this month hope to make daylight saving time, which will deprive Americans of an hour of sleep this Sunday, permanent for the country or for states who opt in.

Key Facts

Clocks will move forward one hour this Sunday at 2 a.m., transitioning from standard time, which begins in November, to daylight saving time, which is associated with later sunsets.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) introduced a Senate bill on March 1 that would make daylight saving time permanent nationwide and eliminate the November time change.

Rubio introduced a similar bill, dubbed the Sunshine Protection Act, in 2021 that passed in the Senate last March before dying in the House in December.

Scientists have long associated the switch to daylight saving time with health problems including circadian rhythm disruptions, higher risk for obesity, diabetes, high-blood pressure and increased instances of workplace injuries, heart attacks and even fatal car crashes.

Key Background

Daylight savings was introduced in the U.S. during World War I as a way to increase daylight during working hours and save money on energy used to illuminate evening hours. Until 1966, when Congress standardized the time change, states and local governments could institute their own time changes whenever they wanted, making it difficult for the transportation industry to coordinate travel between states. Now, states supporting permanent daylight saving time say changing times twice a year is a nuisance and no longer necessary to save fuel.


In 2021, the Alabama legislature voted to make daylight saving time permanent, but the bill can’t go into effect until Congress either passes legislation making daylight saving permanent for the whole country (Rubio’s bill) or allowing states to opt out of time changes without requiring congressional approval (Rogers’ bill). Other states that have proposed bills making daylight saving time permanent include Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.

Surprising Fact

While the Uniform Time Act requires states to ask Congress to switch permanently to daylight saving time, states can change to standard time, which starts in November when clocks fall back one hour, without congressional permission. Arizona and Hawaii are both on standard time year round.

Further Reading

Daylight Saving: How America’s Annual ‘Spring Forward’ Is Bad For Your Health (Forbes)

Set Your Clocks Back Tonight—And No, Daylight Saving Time Isn’t Going Away Yet (Forbes)

A Brief History of Daylight Saving Time (Forbes)