WASHINGTON (CNN) – Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis has ended his bid to head the national party. He did not endorse either of the remaining candidates.
"It's been a great honor," he said. "I have enjoyed every minute."
"With that I want to withdraw my name. We have two great people running and I want to wish them the best of luck."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Michael Steele has re-gained the lead in the fifth round of voting for RNC chair.
Michael Steele: 79
Katon Dawson: 69
Saul Anuzis: 20
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell ended his run Friday, throwing his support to fellow African-American candidate Michael Steele.
Blackwell had been in last place after four rounds of voting.
"I told you last night that in elections there are two ways that you change outcomes, you either change the composition of the electorate, or you can change the attitude of the electorate," he said.
"My fellow Republicans and members of the RNC, I cannot change the composition of this electorate. Nor would I want to. I do want to influence your perspective and your attitude at this moment in history. We must be a party that makes good the promise of Lincoln. We must unleash a new, a new birth of freedom....
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Party chairman Mike Duncan, who was appointed to lead the party by George W. Bush in 2007, dropped his re-election bid on Friday, telling committee members: “Obviously the winds of change are blowing here at the RNC.”
Duncan rose to address the 168-member committee after a three disappointing rounds of balloting in the chairman’s election. He bled votes on every successive ballot, his support trickling to the other candidates in the race.
Despite the sometimes contentious nature of the campaign and criticism that the party suffered with him at the helm, Duncan told the crowd the race has been worth it.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Michael Steele and Katon Dawson gained, while Mike Duncan lost a little more support. Saul Anuzis appears stuck, and Ken Blackwell is slipping.
Results of Round 3:
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrats admit it's going to be a tough fight in getting President Obama's economic stimulus plan passed with bipartisan support, but they are optimistic it can still be done.
On Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said it's going to be a "long hard slog" with "late nights" after the $900 billion bill comes to the Senate floor Monday night. "It is up to us how long this takes," Reid added. "We hope we can work things out."
The full Senate will vote on its version next Wednesday. Should the Senate and House pass different versions, the two bills would have to be conferenced together. Then both chambers would have to vote on the new conference version in the coming weeks.
The president hopes to have the plan passed by Congress and on his desk for signing by mid-February.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One day after President Barack Obama ripped Wall Street executives for their "shameful" decision to hand out $18 billion in bonuses in 2008, Congress may finally have had enough.
An angry U.S. senator introduced legislation Friday to cap compensation for employees of any company that accepts federal bailout money. Under the terms of a bill introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, no employee would be allowed to make more than the president of the United States.
Obama's current annual salary is $400,000.
"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer," an enraged McCaskill said on the floor of the Senate. "They don't get it. These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Obama administration will provide an additional $20.3 million in humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, the State Department said Friday.
The aid will be distributed through the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, the International Committee for the Red Cross and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The three groups are distributing emergency aid, including food, medical assistance, temporary shelter, employment, and electricity and water to Palestinians in Gaza.
The announcement of the aid was also made by Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell, who is traveling through the region, where he is conferring with Palestinian and Israeli officials in an attempt to maintain the Hamas-Israel cease-fire and restart a stalled peace process.
On Friday Mitchell held a roundtable with humanitarian agencies and was briefed on the situation in Gaza, acting State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Mike Duncan earned 48 votes in the second round of balloting in the RNC chairman’s race, putting him in a tie with a strengthening Michael Steele, who increased his tally.
Results of Round 2:
Mike Duncan: 48
Michael Steele: 48
Katon Dawson: 29
Saul Anuzis: 24
Ken Blackwell: 19
Full story after the jump
Click back frequently for the results of the next round