The Republican National Committee (search) collected nearly $60 million through the first half of the year, giving the GOP a solid financial footing for the midterm congressional elections (search) in 2006.

The committee received $59.4 million in contributions, record fundraising in a non-presidential election year, the RNC said. The Republican organization had more than $34 million cash on hand at the end of June after raising more than $6.5 million last month.

By comparison, the Democratic National Committee (search) said last week that it had raised more than $28 million through the first half of 2005, and had about $9 million in the bank.

All House seats and 33 Senate seats are up next year. Republicans hope to avoid the loss of congressional seats — typical in non-presidential election years for the party in power. In addition to the White House, the Republicans have majority control of the House and Senate.