WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Daylight saving is right around the corner, but lawmakers want to know if it is necessary to continue this.
“Daylight saving time has benefits and costs,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said.
On Wednesday, lawmakers debated whether the country needs to keep changing its clocks twice a year.
“This impacts our health, school children commuting to school, and potentially even traffic safety,” Schakowsky added.
A 2019 poll found more than 70% of Americans want to ditch daylight saving.
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) believes it’s time for a change.
“This is all an inconvenience but unfortunately, the changing of our clocks has impacts on our health and our economy,” Pallone said.
Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) is concerned about the effect the change has on kids.
“Can you speak as to why a consistent sleep pattern is important for teen brain development and mental health,” Trahan asked.
“We specifically talked about mental health, including the risk of self harm, suicide thoughts and suicide attempts,” Vanderbilt Sleep Division Director Beth Malow said.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Democrats and Republicans both said the best solution might be permanently springing forward.
“Talked to law enforcement. It does actually reduce crime. Why is that? Because most crime happens at dusk,” Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said.
Staying on daylight saving time year-round would require a new law. Upton says staying on a unified schedule is important and any change needs to be made carefully.
“If you change it, it’s a big thing,” Upton added.