Speed Reads

tick tock, your bill's been blocked

Permanent Daylight Saving Time bill could stall in the House

Thanks to the House of Representatives, we might be springing forward and falling back for the foreseeable future, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D.-N.J.), who oversees time change policies as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said it "could be weeks — or it could be months" before top House Democrats bring a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent before the full chamber for a vote.

Pallone said he wants to wait until "a long-delayed federal analysis" of the issue has been completed, per the Post.

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill that would save us the trouble of changing our clocks twice a year. The bipartisan Sunshine Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), would federally abolish Standard Time, which runs from November to March.

The bill passed after Rubio requested unanimous consent, a parliamentary procedure that entirely bypasses debate as long as no legislator objects. Senators often ask for unanimous consent, but it rarely succeeds. Some senators seemed stunned that it succeeded in this case.

"It's literally an issue my staff and I had never discussed, and they made an assumption that I don't really care about Daylight Saving Time," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). "And I don't know if I do!"

The issue may be obscure, but it's not entirely frivolous. The Post notes that the clock changes have been "linked to more strokes, heart attacks, and car accidents," while opponents of the bill claim "shifting the clock later would lead to winter sunrises after 9:00 a.m. in cities like Indianapolis and Detroit, forcing schoolchildren and many workers to commute in the dark."

Eighteen states have already made Daylight Saving Time permanent, while Arizona and Hawaii remain on standard time the whole year.