Permanent daylight savings push from Florida’s Rubio and Scott won’t get the time of day in Congress

by | Mar 11, 2023

  • Senator Marco Rubio and other lawmakers have reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would allow states to lock in permanent daylight saving time.
  • The bill faces opposition in Congress due to regional factions and lack of majority support in either chamber, and there is no clear agreement among voters on the issue.
  • Supporters of the bill cite health and economic benefits, while opponents point to potential negative effects and the failed experiment of permanent daylight saving time in the 1970s.

As Americans prepare to set their clocks forward one hour for daylight saving time early tomorrow morning, the debate over whether to make the time change permanent continues to rage on. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other lawmakers have reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would allow states to lock in permanent daylight saving time.

“This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid,” Rubio said. “Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support. This Congress, I hope that we can finally get this done.”

Rubio isn’t alone in his sentiment. Fellow Senator Rick Scott is a co-sponsor of the bill, and points out he supported the idea even when he was governor of the state.

“When I was governor of Florida, I was proud to sign this bill into law on the state level, and I will continue this effort in Congress. We need to get it all the way over the finish line this time. It’s time for Congress to act and pass this good bill today.”

Congressman Vern Buchanan also says he supports the effort.

“There are enormous health and economic benefits to making daylight saving time permanent,” Buchanan said. “Florida lawmakers have already voted to make daylight saving time permanent in my home state and Congress should pass the Sunshine Protection Act to move Florida and the rest of the country to year-round daylight saving time.”

Even though other Senators from around the country also support the effort, the bill faces an uphill battle in Congress, where it has split traditional coalitions, with partisan politics replaced by regional factions based on where time zones fall.

Daylight saving time was created to make better use of sunlight during the summer, but as days get shorter in winter, many people experience depression. Supporting Florida’s push to make the change permanent, studies have also shown a greater risk of heart attacks, strokes, and traffic accidents in the days immediately after a time change.

Despite reintroducing the Sunshine Protection Act, the chances of its success appear unlikely as neither chamber of Congress has a majority in support of the bill, and there is no clear agreement among voters. A 2022 Monmouth University poll found that 44 percent of respondents wanted permanent daylight saving time, 13 percent wanted permanent standard time, and 35 percent wanted to stick with the current system. Key congressional leaders who oversee the relevant committees have not yet taken a public stance. Furthermore, opponents of the bill, including sleep medicine experts, point to the failed experiment in the 1970s when Congress made daylight saving time permanent, only to reverse it 10 months later.


  1. Anonymous

    This poorly thought out idea to keep daylight savings time puts children PreK-12 going to school waiting for busses at their bus stop
    IN THE DARK permanently every morning of their school lives.
    Very, very inconsiderate, disrespectful to families and dangerous, bad idea.

    • Josh

      Then change the hours that kids go to school in winter but leave the clocks alone. Especially for adolescents, there are studies showing that later school hours are more beneficial to learning anyway because a teenager’s circadian rhythm is to wake up later.

  2. Tarno_inz

    Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a blunt instrument. I would like to see a future where each company and school adjusts its hours based on what is best for their community. Want to start school at 7a.m. during the summer, great; want to start school at 9a.m. during the depths of winter, super.
    This is a huge country, the sunrise and sunset vary greatly because the U.S. geography has such a wide range of latitudes. So my preference is to take the federal and state governments out of this issue leaving it to each individual school and business, and leave the time at standard time (when the sun is due south, when it is high noon, it should be 12:00). Lets practice the concept of subsidiarity on this topic.
    Oh, just to make sure we all understand: DST does not give us more time in the day; it just shifts the time similarly to how we once used VCRs.

  3. Josh

    The way I feel about it, whether or not it’s DST or standard time that becomes permanent, it’s “time” to finally end this insanity. I personally favor permanent DST because every year when we change the clocks back to standard time, I start getting depressed because daytime is already over before my workday is done. However, I’d be fine with either because whether the clocks move forward or backward, it’s also hugely disruptive to my sleep cycle. I think the only reason we still have bi-annual time changes is because nobody can ever agree for long enough on which scheme is best, so just pick one and go with it!

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