Cooper Davis Act passes through Committee to U.S. Senate floor

Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 2:43 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A bill honoring 16-year-old Cooper Davis who lost his life to fentanyl poisoning in 2021 has passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee and will head to the Senate floor.

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) announced on Thursday, July 13, that the Senate Judiciary Committee has passed the bipartisan Cooper Davis Act which will now head to the Senate floor. The legislation would require Big Tech companies to hold a more proactive role in the fight against drug dealers who prey on youth on social media.

“Fentanyl continues to be the deadliest drug our nation has ever seen, a Kansan dies every day from this poison. The Cooper Davis Act moving to the Senate Floor is a huge victory in our fight back against this epidemic. Our bipartisan legislation will save lives and give law enforcement the ability to fight back against these social media companies conducting drug sales on their platforms,” Sen. Marshall said.

Marshall noted that the bill passed with a vote of 16-5. It is named in honor of Cooper Davis, a 16-year-old Kansan who lost his life to a counterfeit prescription pill that had been laced with fentanyl in August 2021. It was later found the dealer who had contacted Davis did so through Snapchat, a popular social media platform.

“Our family is very grateful for Senator Marshall and his colleague’s leadership on this legislation. It’s encouraging to see this bill, honoring Cooper’s life, heading to the Senate floor. We trust that our legislators will recognize how important it is to pass this bill to keep our kids safe and expedite its passage. I look forward to seeing this bipartisan legislation reach the finish line so countless innocent lives can be spared,” Cooper Davis’s mother, Libby Davis said.

Marshall noted that fentanyl is the most dangerous drug threat that Americans face and fatal poisonings are on the rise among adolescents, teens and adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 182% increase in fentanyl overdose deaths among 10 to 19-year-olds between 2019 and 2021.

“We’ve been on a mission in the Senate Judiciary Committee: to protect children’s online safety. Today, we advanced our sixth bipartisan bill out of this Committee in support of that mission. I thank Senators Marshall and Shaheen for their diligent work on this piece of legislation as the fentanyl crisis continues to ravage communities across the country. We need to consider all options to help save lives, including by addressing illicit drug trafficking online. I look forward to continued collaboration as it advances to the full Senate,” U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee said.

Marshall said the Cooper Davis Act would require social media companies and other service providers to take a more proactive role in working with federal agencies to fight the sale and distribution of drugs on their platforms. It would create a standardized and comprehensive framework.

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.