“College is already unaffordable for too many people,” Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “If Congress doesn’t act it will only get worse.”

A House bill would set interest rates based on the value of the 10-year Treasury note plus 2.5 percent with an 8.5 percent cap for most loans. President Obama had a similar plan in his budget. Reid said that plan is worse than doing nothing.

“The Republican plan would stick it to students,” Reid said. “Passing the House proposal would be worse than doing nothing.”

Reid said Congress should pass the Senate Democratic proposal that would freeze rates for two years, which is paid for by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy. He also pointed out that last year, which was an election year, Republicans supported keeping the interest rate down.

“We need to do what we suggest, that is keep the interest rates where they are,” Reid said. “Unlike Republicans we won’t abandon students when it’s not an election year.”