CNN — House Republicans were shocked by some of the recent high-profile retirements announced by their colleagues, which have included powerful committee chairs and rising stars inside the GOP.

But given the miserable state of affairs inside the House right now, they also weren’t exactly surprised.

“They’ve signed up to do serious things. And we’re not doing serious things,” said Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, a conservative who is retiring after bucking his party on several key issues.

Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, a moderate who represents a key swing seat, pointed to his party’s struggle to govern as driving the departures.

“When you’re divided in your own conference, the joy of the job is harder,” Bacon told CNN. “When you have folks on your own team with their knives out, it makes it less enjoyable.”

And Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida, an ally of deposed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said this is not how he or many of his colleagues imagined life in the majority, saying, “I thought that some of our members would be smarter.”

“A lot of us are frustrated with what’s going on, and that’s just being flat-out honest,” he told CNN. “It’s foolish. And it’s been proven to be foolish. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

As the 118th Congress has been dominated by deep dysfunction and bitter divisions inside the GOP, a number of Republicans – particularly from the so-called governing wing – are heading for the exits. So far, 23 GOP lawmakers have decided to not seek reelection or resigned early, including five committee chairs, though some have cited personal reasons or are seeking higher office.

Still, the caliber and timing of some of the retirements has raised alarm bells, particularly those who are giving up coveted committee gavels that some work their whole career to achieve.

Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington is not even term-limited yet in her plum post, while China select committee Chair Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, a 39-year-old who was once seen as the future of the party, recently announced he was leaving Congress after facing intense blowback for voting against impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

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