Pallone, who held a hearing last week on daylight saving time, said he shares the Senate’s goal to end the “spring forward” and “fall back” clock changes linked to more strokes, heart attacks and car accidents. But he wants to collect more information, asking for a long-delayed federal analysis on how time changes might affect productivity, traffic and energy costs, among other issues.
“There isn’t a consensus, in my opinion in the House, or even generally at this point, about whether we should have standard versus daylight saving as the permanent time,” Pallone said. “Immediately after the Senate passed the bill, I had members come up to me on the floor and say, ‘Oh, don’t do that. I want the standard time,’ ” he added, declining to identify the lawmakers.
The White House also has not communicated its position on permanent daylight saving time, congressional aides said. While President Biden, as a freshman senator, voted for that in December 1973 — the last time that Congress attempted to institute the policy nationwide — he also witnessed the near-immediate collapse of support amid widespread reports that darker winter mornings were contributing to more car accidents and worsened moods. Members of Congress introduced nearly 100 pieces of legislation to change or do away with the law before it was finally repealed in October 1974.
The White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D) office declined to answer questions about daylight saving time policy on Friday, referring reporters back to prior statements that the Senate measure was being reviewed.
The Senate plan boasts bipartisan support, led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the health panel chair and No. 3 Democrat, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The two steered the bill that passed the chamber on Tuesday through a procedure known as unanimous consent, which eliminates the need for debate or an actual vote count if no senator objects to a measure.
Backers of permanent daylight saving time argue that adding an hour of daylight later in the day would boost commerce and lead to mental health gains, as people go out to shop, eat and spend time outdoors. Murray and Rubio also point to states like Washington and Florida that have sought to adopt permanent daylight saving time but are waiting on federal approval to do so. Their aides said they are working to drum up support for the change among their House counterparts — pushing for a vote as soon as possible, while there is momentum around the idea.
“Springing forward and falling back year after year only creates unnecessary confusion while harming Americans’ health and our economy,” Murray wrote Pelosi in a letter sent Friday that her office shared with The Washington Post. “I hope, once again, for your immediate consideration of this common-sense legislation.”
Lawmakers seeking to change national time policies are working against the clock, said Thomas Gray, a University of Texas at Dallas political science professor who has studied more than a century of congressional legislation on daylight saving…