The Washington Times - July 9, 2013, 12:08PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused Republicans on Tuesday of trying to balance the budget on the backs of students who are drowning in student debt.

The Nevada Democrat’s opening remarks on the chamber floor push back at GOP assertions that Democratic inaction is to blame for allowing rates on subsidized Stafford loans to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1.

SEE RELATED: Democrats defy Obama and Republicans as student loan rates double

Many Senate Democrats want to extend the 3.4 percent-rate for another year.

House Republicans, meanwhile, forged a plan that closely aligns with President Obama’s plan by tying rates to fluctuations in the market.

Despite withering criticism from Republicans, Mr. Reid said the interest rates could skyrocket in future years under the market-based plan.

“Students should get some help. … College has never been more expensive and out of reach for American families,” Mr. Reid said.