House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) cautioned President Obama not to go ahead with executive actions on immigration reform, saying it will "poison the well" for any broader legislation. 

The president said Wednesday he feels "obliged" to act within the law to fix the immigration system, but called on Republicans to pass a bill that he can sign. 

At a news conference this afternoon, Boehner urged Obama not to act "unilaterally" on immigration reform. 

"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. It's as simple as that," said Boehner, adding that the American people do not want Obama to take such actions. 

He was asked about the president's contention that legislation from the next GOP-controlled Congress could replace any executive orders he issues before the end of the year.

"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 answered, adding that the time has come for Congress to "deal with a very difficult issue."

In a joint Wall Street Journal piece with Sen. Mitch McConnell, Boehner wrote this week about renewing the commitment to repealing ObamaCare. 

"ObamaCare is hurting our economy, it is hurting middle class families,” Boehner said this afternoon. “It should be repealed and it should be replaced with common sense reforms. Whether that can pass the Senate I don’t know, but I know in the House it will pass.”

Boehner said the American people have made up their minds and are against the health care law. He was asked whether going after ObamaCare would be seen as "poisoning the well" from the White House's standpoint. 

Boehner said no, arguing that the law is hurting the economy and causing businesses to be hesitant to hire.

Watch a portion of the news conference above.