The US House of Representatives has upheld a presidential veto of a bill that would have prevented the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods.
Human rights groups say water-boarding is torture
The techniques include water-boarding, which opponents say amounts to torture.
The 225-188 vote in the Democratic-led House fell short of the two-thirds majority required to overturn the veto.
President George W Bush said the legislation would have taken away one of the most valuable tools in the "war on terror."
The vetoed legislation would have limited the CIA to using the 19 interrogation methods approved in the Army field manual.
CIA 'ENHANCED INTERROGATION' TECHNIQUES
Water-boarding: prisoner bound to a board with feet raised, and cellophane wrapped round his head. Water is poured onto his face and is said to produce a fear of drowning
Cold cell: prisoner made to stand naked in a cold, though not freezing, cell and doused with water
Standing: shackled prisoners stand for 40 hours and more
Belly slap: a hard slap to the stomach with an open hand. This is designed to be painful but not to cause injury
Source: Described to ABC News by un-named CIA agents in 2005
It would have banned the CIA from using not only water-boarding - which simulates drowning - but also sensory deprivation and other harsh coercive techniques.
White House press secretary Dana Perino hailed the House vote, saying a successful overturn of the veto "would have diminished the intelligence community's ability to protect our nation".
Earlier, Mr Bush said the CIA needed "specialised interrogation procedures", although he did not mention water-boarding specifically.
The CIA has admitted to using water-boarding on three people, including high-profile al-Qaeda detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
However, it says it stopped using the technique in 2003.