fb-pixel Skip to main content

Bill to make daylight saving time permanent stalls in the House: ‘There are a broad variety of opinions.’

Clockmaker Scott Gow walked past one of the clocks at Electric Time Company in Medfield. The company is the world's oldest manufacturer of tower clocks.Bill Greene/Globe Staff/file

It wouldn’t be fall in America without a kerfuffle over daylight saving time, which comes to an end for most of the country at 2 a.m. Sunday, when we turn the clocks back an hour and return to standard time.

A bill co-sponsored by US Senator Ed Markey, a Malden Democrat, to make daylight saving time permanent passed in the Senate to much fanfare back in March, but things have hit a snag in the House, according to Reuters.

Congressman Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee with jurisdiction over the bill, told the wire service Thursday that House members were having trouble reaching consensus on the proposal.

Advertisement



“There are a broad variety of opinions about whether to keep the status quo, to move to a permanent time, and if so, what time that should be,” Pallone told Reuters.

A request for comment on the snag was sent Friday morning to aides to Markey, who after the bill passed the Senate in March tweeted a musical playlist he’d curated to rally support around the measure.

The playlist included such sunshine-drenched hits as The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up The Sun,” and Scooter Lee’s “Walking On Sunshine.”

“If you’re happy that the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act today, then you might enjoy my playlist,” Markey tweeted at the time.

The bill, dubbed the Sunshine Protection Act, was introduced last year by its lead sponsor, US Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and former GOP presidential primary hopeful.

In addition to Markey, records show, the bill has a raft of supporters in the Senate from both parties.

Senate co-sponsors include Senators James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma; Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri; Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island; Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon; Rick Scott, Republican of Florida; Cindy Hyde-Smith, Republican of Mississippi; Bill Hagerty, Republican of Tennessee; James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma; Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington; Alex Padilla, Democrat of California; Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee; Martin Heinrich, Democrat of New Mexico; Patrick Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania; Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California; Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama; Cory A. Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; and Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky.

Advertisement



Since 2015, about 30 states have introduced or passed legislation to end the twice-yearly changing of the clocks, with some states proposing to do it only if neighboring states take the plunge, Reuters reported. The bill currently pending in Congress would allow Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe daylight saving time, to remain on standard time, per Reuters.

Social media reactions on the issue were manifold this week.

“I would like to place a vote for discontinuing Daylight Saving Time permanently,” tweeted Marc Weinberg, chief meteorologist at WDRB-TV in Lousiville, Ky. “I would rather just stay normal time year round. The late sunsets are cool and all, but the crazy late sunrises in Winter are simply not feasible. DST year round would equal a sunrise at 9 am on 1/3.”

Out west, Dr. Brandon Peters, a sleep medicine physician and neurologist based in Seattle, had a similar take.

“We need permanent standard time,” Peters tweeted.

Peters said permanent daylight saving time would mean more morning commutes in the dark for him — and many others.

Advertisement



“It’s unsafe,” Peters wrote. “It’s unhealthy for my circadian rhythm. We want permanent standard time.”

Meanwhile, Tudor Dixon, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan, tweeted out an election message Thursday that included a reference to the fall rite of turning back the clocks (or letting your iPhone do it automatically).

“Saginaw is ready to take our state back on Tuesday (and ready to set the clocks back this weekend for Daylight Saving Time.),” Dixon tweeted. “Vote on November 8th!”

But regardless of your stance on the debate, standard time’s coming back this weekend, and on Friday Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of Brigham and Women’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, urged people not to alter their sleep patterns Saturday night.

“A lot of people will go to bed so much later on the Saturday night of the time change that they don’t benefit from the chance to get an extra hour of sleep,” Czeisler said in a statement. “But the biggest thing you can do is go to sleep at your usual bedtime and take advantage of the extra hour of sleep. If you’re chronically sleep-deprived, this will be an opportunity to make a habit of going to sleep a little bit earlier.”

Time-change debate aside, winter is coming. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on Friday tweeted out guidance for dealing with the shorter days ahead.


Material from prior Globe stories and from Globe wire services was used in this report.

Advertisement




Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.