As the United States wakes up sleep-deprived Monday morning, Trump announces he supports permanent daylight saving time in 2019 and beyond. President Trump is just as tired as the rest of America in switching our clocks twice a year.
Most of the United States set their clocks to “spring forward” in the early morning of March 10. March 10 marks the start of daylight saving time in 2019, which is set to end on Sunday, November 3. However, if President Trump’s statement is enough to push a change, there is a chance we will not set our clocks to “fall back” this November.
President Trump tweeted “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!” in the early morning of March 11. Perhaps, as a response to adjusting to the new time and an hour less of sleep over the weekend.
Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2019
Why Does Daylight Saving Time Exist?
The inception of daylight saving time goes back to 1895 when George Hudson proposed the idea as a way to save energy. In the United States, daylight saving was implemented for the first time on in 1918 during World War I to save fuel and resources and to extend the working day. However, this law was meant to only exist during the war and was repealed soon after World War I. It was again adopted during World War II and in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson as he signed into law the Uniform Time Act.
There has been ongoing debate as to the benefits of daylight saving time. Proponents argue that it helps to save energy, while opponents argue that the energy savings are inconclusive.
What President Trump is arguing for is permanent daylight saving time, essentially eliminating the “fall back” of clocks in November. This would mean the United States stays on summer hours all year round. Some states, including Hawaii and most of Arizona, do not observe daylight saving time at all.
While states have opted out of daylight saving time, states cannot independently implement permanent daylight saving time. Several states, including Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island have introduced state legislature to push for permanent daylight saving time. However, these states must rely on Congress changing federal law, and signed by President Trump, in order to implement “permanent daylight saving time.”
With the president’s tweet this morning, it indicates that Trump would sign a proposal if it landed on his desk. The “Sunshine Protection Act” proposed by Florida legislation to permanently implement daylight saving time is currently on hold in Congress. At this point, there’s no clear path or agenda to put permanent daylight saving time to vote in Congress. Time will tell if Trump’s tweet will change that.