Daylight saving time: Explaining the century-old debate

The prospect of adopting year-round daylight saving time has reignited fierce debate: While most Americans agree that the switch must end, there is strong disagreement over whether clocks should be set permanently to daylight saving time or standard time. (iStock)
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For decades, many Americans have muddled through twice-yearly time changes as much of the country toggled between standard time and daylight saving time. But the confusing and often disruptive biannual practice, which has been associated with adverse effects on health and public safety, may become a relic of the past.

On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed legislation that would eliminate switching and make daylight saving time permanent. The bipartisan bill, which would take effect next year, must be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by President Biden before it becomes law. Still, the prospect of adopting year-round daylight saving time has reignited fierce debate: While most Americans agree that the switch must end, there is strong disagreement over whether clocks should be set permanently to daylight saving time or standard time.

Senate votes unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent

Below we’ve compiled answers to commonly asked questions about daylight saving time; the information in this FAQ will be updated as developments occur.

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