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Photo of AOC laughing as Matt Gaetz gives impassioned speech goes viral

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was captured laughing as she sat behind her Republican opponent Matt Gaetz as he gave an impassioned speech amid his campaign to resist Kevin McCarthy’s bids to be elected president of the Bedroom.

The photo was taken during Wednesday’s chaotic vote, when the House of Representatives adjourned without deciding on a new speaker. Lawmakers had temporarily appeared unsure of what the final vote count on the resolution was.

Mr. Gaetz led the charge among Republicans opposed to Mr. McCarthy’s candidacy for Congress in voting on Monday and Tuesday.

He named Ohio Republican Jim Jordan and accused Mr McCarthy of being a “squatter”.

In the photo, the New York Democrat can be seen laughing as Mr Gaetz stands and speaks.

The photo was shared on Twitter by activist Olivia Julianna, who added the caption: “Living vicariously through @AOC right now.”

Several Twitter users reacted to the photo with memes.

Some users speculated if Ms Ocasio-Cortez was smiling at George Santos instead, who also appeared to be in the frame.

In a letter to U.S. Capitol architect Brett Blanton a day before the photo was taken, Mr. Gaetz wrote, “The Speaker of the House Office on Capitol Hill is currently occupied by Kevin McCarthy.”

“What is the basis of law, House rule, or precedent for allowing someone who came second in three successive elections for Speaker to hold the office of Speaker of the House? How long will he stay there before he is considered a squatter? He continued.

During Wednesday’s vote, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was also seen having separate exchanges with Mr. Gaetz and Paul Gosar, fueling speculation about what the conversation was about.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez later said Republicans had claimed that Mr McCarthy had offered to strike a deal with Democrats, which she denied.

Republican hardliners have consistently criticized Mr. McCarthy’s bid for House speaker since the GOP won a majority in the House midterm in November.

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