Actually (and I didn’t listen to his speech) it appears that he asked Congress to study the situation and make recommendations by the end of March as to how the phone metadata program can work to collect the information without that data being stored by the government. Andrew McCarthy adds:
Expect delay on this, with the tough calls punted to Congress. It is entirely appropriate that this should be settled by legislation, but the controversy will still center on how the executive branch – which has independent constitutional authority to conduct surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes – exploits whatever Congress designs.
It’s interesting that Obama is saying to Congress, “You figure it out.” And then, as McCarthy suggests, he’ll do whatever he wants?