Bipartisan feat can lead to more sleep

“Wait, so do we need to set our clocks forward or backward?”

“It’s okay to call in sick to avoid the hassle of getting enough sleep, right? No? Sure, that makes sense.”

“What is time aside from being a social construct, anyways?”

These encounters that pop up twice a year may provoke a visceral feeling of dread or confusion within an individual. Do you spring forward and fall back, or do you always spring into bed and immediately fall asleep? Fortunately, a federal move may extinguish the potential of this taking place again.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act Tuesday, which would make daylight saving time permanent – days after Americans already “sprung forward” and lost an hour of sleep. Regardless of the bill’s timing, the bipartisan effort heralded by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will satisfy those who never want to change their clocks again.

Perhaps the effort is an indicator of future political unity or maybe everyone, politicians included, are just tired of losing an hour of sleep every year.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Americans want more sunshine and less depression—people in this country, all the way from Seattle to Miami, want the Sunshine Protection Act,” Murray said.

The senator referenced the struggle of establishing a consistent sleeping schedule for children, sleep deprivation and potential injury as a few reasons to make the change. In a USA Today op-ed from Murray and Rubio, they wrote that establishing permanent daylight saving would have economic benefits and conserve energy.

“This is such a simple, common-sense measure that we can all take back to our constituents that does away with a completely unnecessary inconvenience in everyone’s life,” Murray said.

Currently, the only U.S. states and territories that do not recognize daylight saving time are Hawaii, a partial amount of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and American Samoa. These areas are close to the equator where there isn’t a significant change in when the sun rises or sets, so the time change could easily be ignored and be inconsequential.

Now, the Sunshine Protection Act will make its way to the House of Representatives and, expectedly, get signed by President Joe Biden.

It’s amazing how much power and significance one hour in the day can harness, isn’t it?

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker is a politics reporter for The Columbian.

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