A House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday easily approved a bill to fund the Dept. of Transportation for the coming year, but once again the annual appropriations package contains a handful of trucking provisions that are likely to prompt lively debate as the legislation moves forward.

As for funding, the fiscal year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill authorizes $44 billion from the Highway Trust Fund, which is $905 million above the fiscal year 2016 level. This funding mirrors the levels authorized in the FAST Act, or highway bill, approved last fall.

Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) called the majority-authored legislation “a good, responsible bill,” but Ranking Member David Price (D-NC), while generally supportive of increased funding levels, noted several “problematic policy riders” that he will seek to have removed when the bill goes to the full Appropriations committee.

Based on last year’s partisan discussion, several trucking provisions are likely on that list. The bill includes language that would restore the 34-hour restart to the rule that was in place in 2011, an attempt to fix a drafting error made in last year’s bill that creates confusion over what rule would be in effect if a mandated study doesn’t support the effectiveness of the July 2013 restart change.

The House THUD package also includes a provision designed to ensure uniform labor rules for truckers. The provision would give federal hours of service rules precedence over state wage and hour laws, preventing a “patchwork” driver pay system across the country.

Additionally, the bill bars FMCSA from going through with proposed changes to the Safe Fitness Determination rule pending the review of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program as called for the in FAST Act.

Speaking in Little Rock Wednesday, American Trucking Assn. Chairman Pat Thomas said he was optimistic the restart correction will be made, although he noted there are no “sure deals” in Washington.

“People understand, ‘hey, we already did this once, but we made a mistake—let’s just fix it,” he said. “I think we’re going to get there.”

As for the uniform work rules, Thomas suggested passing such legislation would be “a little bit tougher” due to opposition from both California senators.

“This is huge problem that has surfaced in California, and that’s where we’re seeing most of the litigation,” he said. “But there are 29 other states that have laws similar to this that will begin to be a problem. This isn’t a one-state issue.”