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Boehner Warns Obama After Midterms: Don't 'Poison the Well'

House Speaker says unilateral action on immigration would be akin to the president "playing with matches" and would scuttle future legislation.
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House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday warned that the president will "poison the well" for the new Congress if he takes executive action to address the deportation of undocumented immigrants.

"I've made clear to the president that if he acts unilaterally on his own outside of his authority, he will poison the well and there will be no chance for immigration reform moving in this Congress," Boehner told reporters at his first news conference after big GOP gains in Tuesday's midterm elections.

"When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. And he's going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path," he said.

Boehner also pledged that the House will vote to repeal the president's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that repeal legislation would be headed to a certain veto and perhaps failure in the upper chamber.

"Now whether it'll pass the Senate, I don't know," he added. "But I know in the House, it will pass."

Boehner said that, although he has "a nice relationship" with President Barack Obama, "my job is not to get along with the president just to get along with him."

"My job is to listen to my members and listen to the American people to make their priorities our priorities," he added.

Other issues Boehner said he wants to address in the new Congress included energy policy, education reform and changes to the nation's tax and legal systems.

Republicans gained at least seven seats in the Senate and at least 14 seats in the United States House.

— Carrie Dann