People communicate with each other at the convention center for the World Economic Forum WEF Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos, Switzerland, January 15, 2023.
Lian Yi | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
DAVOS, Switzerland — U.S. lawmakers quietly attended a private, posh luncheon at the World Economic Forum on Monday, which was attended by dozens of influential business leaders, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Lawmakers in attendance included members of the US Congressional delegation attending the annual conference for the elite and the wealthy in Davos, including Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., Chris Coons, D-Del., Kyrsten Sinema, I- arizona and some members of the House of Representatives, said these people. Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp also attended the event, one of the people said.
Coons, Manchin, Sinema and Kemp are among the US-based officials who will take part in the panel sessions at this year’s conference. These private events on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum often serve as meet-and-greets between CEOs, billionaires and government officials.
Coons and Manchin each spoke separately to the crowd of company leaders over lunch, said one attendee, who declined to be identified and was speaking through a private gathering.
Coons discussed US aid to Ukraine after the Russian invasion, while Manchin, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, called for American energy independence, this person noted. Congress passed $40 billion in additional aid to Ukraine last year.
The private lunch was held at the Hotel Schatzalp, which is accessed primarily by a funicular or tram up the property, explained those with knowledge of the gathering. One attendee said the meeting took place at the hotel’s Belle Epoque restaurant, with salmon and a beef dish served to attendees.
Business leaders came from a diverse range of backgrounds, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum and heads of various non-governmental organizations, said this attendee.
Coons told CNBC on the sidelines before lunch that members of the congressional delegation were out for lunch “with about 50 CEOs.” He did not say which executives should be present.
A Hewlett Packard Enterprise representative confirmed Neri’s attendance. Representatives from the lawmakers mentioned in this story did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hotel Schatzalp was first opened in 1900 as a luxury sanatorium for wealthy clients by Dutch entrepreneur Willem Jan Holsboer, according to the hotel’s website.
Towering over Europe’s highest city at 1,900 meters above sea level, the modern Art Nouveau building was converted into a hotel in 1953.
Members of the US Congressional delegation in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum
Brian Schwartz | CNBC