Rep. Ted Poe on Monday accused the Justice Department of failing to use money allocated by Congress to work through the backlog of so-called "rape kits," which contain DNA evidence that could be used to identify and convict rapists.

In a speech on the House floor, Poe noted that in 2013, Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. That bill included language that was supposed to "help eliminate the backlog of untested DNA evidence from unsolved rape cases and take countless of rapists off the streets," according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Poe helped in the passage of the act.

But on Monday, Poe accused Justice of failing to use the money so far. He said the money has been set aside to process the rape kits, and Justice needs to distribute it to the states.

"The bottomline, money has been allocated to fund the backlog of ... 400,000 rape kits," Poe said. "Funds were required to be made available for audits so we can find the true number of languishing kits throughout different states and then test them."

He also said that every rape kit should be tested "so all victims had answers and all rapists were brought to justice."

However, the Department of Justice has ignored the mandate as it has yet to offer the grants to the states, he said. This poses a problem because if a rape kit goes untested for too long, the identified perpetrator could no longer be charged with the crime because of the sexual assault statute of limitations.

"The criminal goes free because the constable has blundered, or in this case, the constable is incompetent," Poe said. Ultimately, he said, victims need to know who assaulted them for their "peace of mind."

"Our country deserves better, sexual assault victims deserve better and, Mr. Speaker, justice deserves better," Poe said. "Sexual assault, or rape, is, to me, the worst crime in society. And rape victims, more than anything else, they want to know who did it."