(c) Priority for Awarding Agreements.—Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall enter into Operating Agreements with those vessels determined by the Operating Agency, in its sole discretion, to best meet the national security requirements of the United States. After consideration of national security requirements, priority shall be given to an applicant that is a United States citizen under section 50501 of this title.
The effective date of this chapter, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), probably means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 116–92, which enacted this chapter and was approved Dec. 20, 2019.
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