On Tuesday, the news that the Senate had unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, seemed to come out of nowhere. Though there were some rumblings in late 2021 about Marco Rubio and a few of his DST-hating cohorts working to follow through on the platform that Veep’s Jonah Ryan first introduced, there wasn’t much talk about it—including amongst the Senate itself.
“I was surprised that someone didn’t object,” Kyrsten Sinema, who announced the bill’s passing as Senate chair, told BuzzFeed News.
“Any single senator could have blocked the daylight saving bill from passing but many didn’t know it was even happening,” wrote BuzzFeed News politics reporter Paul McLeod. “Sen. Rick Scott, a permanent daylight saving time proponent who signed a similar bill into law when he was governor of Florida, said he would have gone to give a speech on the Senate floor if he had known. Asked to re-create his reaction to the news, Sen. Chris Coons issued a series of shocked stammers that is impossible to phonetically translate.”
While one source noted that Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is a staunch advocate for the annoying habit of changing our clocks twice a year, yet “No comment” was his only response when asked whether he opposed the bill, and again when questioned why he did not object.
But Rubio asked for “unanimous consent,” which can be a bit of gamble, as it takes just one objection for the bill to be blocked. On the upside, it avoids having to spend any time debating a bill or voting on it. If no one objects, the bill is a go—which is exactly what happened.
While Mississippi senator Roger Wicker had planned to fight it, he ultimately decided that there were more pressing matters for him to address. “I chose not to stand in the way,” Wicker told BuzzFeed. “I’m more interested in fighting other battles.”
Still others, like Delaware senator Chris Coons, have no idea where they stand on the issue. “It’s literally an issue my staff and I had never discussed,” he said. “And they made an assumption that I don’t really care about Daylight Saving Time. And I don’t know if I do! I’ve never taken five minutes to stop and think about it.”
Don’t tell that to Jonah Ryan.
(Via BuzzFeed News)